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    Names of mostly young people who recently went abroad in search for jobs and opportunities are written on tiles that cover a wall at a bus station in Imotski, southern Croatia. Youth unemployment rate increased to a record high of almost 30% in 2016.

    About the ILO in Croatia

    Robust recovery after decades of stagnation

    In the first five years after Croatia’s independence in 1991 the country experienced a dramatic one third drop of GDP because of the war. GDP only reached its pre-war level more than 10 years later in 2003. In the early 2000’s Croatia experienced a steady growth of economic activity with GDP growth averaging 4.5%. The basis of the country’s development was the stable growth of domestic production, with retail, construction and tourism playing an important role. However, the unemployment rate remained high and labour force participation was low.

    Croatia was then again heavily hit by an economic contraction because of the Great Recession. The economic crisis led to a 13% decline of GDP (2009-14) which was the second largest contraction after Greece. The crisis also had a toll on the labour market. The unemployment rate doubled to 18% in 2014 (as compared to pre crises level) and the youth unemployment rate increased to a record high of almost 30% (2016).  Continue reading