From middle to high income country
After dissolution of Czechoslovakia into its two constituent parts in 1993 the Slovak Republic witnessed considerable catch-up growth relative to EU average. National income per capita more than doubled and is now at 76% of EU average. The growth has been driven by a strong inflow of foreign direct investment facilitated by relatively low wages, skilled labour, and the proximity to Western Europe. The rapid transformation led to EU membership in 2004 and the classification as a high income country in 2007.
The significant progress made on income convergence with EU has translated into substantial improvement of employment outcomes. The country reduced its long-standing unemployment problem from a peak unemployment rate of 20% in 2000 to 6.6% in 2018 (EU average 6.7%). The employment rate is at 72% almost reaching the target of 75% as defined in the Europe 2020 strategy which is the EU’s current agenda for growth and jobs. Improved labour market outcomes have led to substantial reductions of at-risk-of-poverty and social exclusion rates (18 % in 2016), where Slovakia performs better than the EU average.
Remaining challenges are the relatively high youth unemployment (19%), one of the highest shares of long-term unemployed in EU (60%), low labour market participation of disadvantaged groups (especially Roma), persisting gender disparities in the labour market, and labour shortages in some sectors, especially in the booming regions of Western Slovakia. Continue reading
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The Slovak Republic is under the responsibility of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe