UPSVaR: Unemployment Rate Dropped to 9.64 percent in April

(from left) Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter, UPSVaR general director Marian Valentovic and Prime Minister Robert Fico at a press conference in Bratislava on Friday (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 20 (TASR) – The unemployment rate in Slovakia stood at 9.64 percent in April, representing a decrease of 0.25 percentage points (p.p.) month-on-month, and a drop of 2.04 p.p. year-on-year, Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre (UPSVaR) general director Marian Valentovic announced at a press conference on Friday with Prime Minister Robert Fico and Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter also in attendance.According to Valentovic, the number of jobseekers immediately able to take up a job was 261,914 in April, a decrease of 6,645 m-o-m and of 53,176 y-o-y.

The unemployment rate calculated from the total number of jobseekers reached 11.4 percent in April, down by 0.29 p.p. m-o-m and by 1.95 p.p. y-o-y.

The total number of jobseekers stood at 309,583 in April, a drop of 8,098 m-o-m and of 50,394 y-o-y.

“We think that it isn’t possible to go below 7 or 8 percent [in terms of the unemployment rate] under these circumstances because the population structure doesn’t allow us to,” said Fico, who stated that Slovakia could reach 85 percent of the average living standard in the EU by 2020, however.

Fico described the drop in the rate as a big success. “We’re coming close to the upswing seen in 2007 and 2008, when the unemployment rate hovered at around 7 or 8 percent. The structure of the unemployed doesn’t currently allow us to go down further, but we’ll pay special attention to disadvantaged groups as well as to the misuse of the social welfare system,” added Fico.

Regarding regions, the highest unemployment rate was recorded in Presov region (14.49 percent), followed by Banska Bystrica (13.99 percent) and Kosice (13.23 percent).

At the district level, of all 79 districts, the unemployment rate went down in 73, rose in five and remained the same only in one. The highest rate was recorded in Rimavska Sobota (26.43 percent), while the lowest was in Galanta (4.04 percent).