Croatia has posted the largest drop in unemployment throughout the European Union on a year-on-year level in 2018. According to figures just released by Eurostat the rate of unemployment in Croatia in 2018 fell from 10 percent to 7.8 percent.
Across the European Union the rate of unemployment stood at 6.7 percent in November 2018, which is the lowest level since January 2000.
Eurostat estimated that a total of 16.491 million people in the EU28, including 13.040 million in the euro zone, were unemployed in November 2018. Month-on-month, the number of persons unemployed dropped by 107,000 in the EU28 and by 90,000 in the euro zone. Compared with November 2017, unemployment fell by 1.489 million in the EU28 and by 1.135 million in the euro zone.
Croatia tops the EU in terms of unemployment decrease in 2018, followed by Greece, which went from 20.8 percent to 18.6 percent and Spain, which went from 16.5 percent to 14.7 percent. By countries, the lowest unemployment rates in November 2018 were recorded in the Czech Republic (1.9 percent), Germany (3.3 percent) and the Netherlands (3.5 percent). On the other hand, the highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (18.6 percent in September 2018) and Spain (14.7 percent).
Although the figures look encouraging it has to be taken into account that during 2018 hundreds of thousands of Croatian workers left the country in search of employment in other EU member states. This mass exodus certainly helped to decrease the rate of unemployment. In fact, so many workers left that the Croatian government was forced to react and drastically increase the number of work visas for foreigners, seven-fold to 65,100. Many of the visas will be issued to cover the shortfall of workers in the tourism industry. The quota, applied to non-EU workers and subdivided into quotas per sector, is set every year by the government in December. It is based on recommendations by various business associations and serves as an indicator of the shortage of workers, especially in areas such as tourism and construction.