Slovenia is a central European country bordering Austria (to the north), Italy (to the west), Hungary (to the north-east) and Croatia (to the east and south). It has a population of 2 052 496 and and has 823 419 economically active persons ( in year 2011). The country is divided into 12 statistical regions; these differ considerably from each other in terms of both geographical characteristics and level of economic development. Slovenian economy is oriented towards exports to developed Western markets. Commerce, construction and business services are, alongside manufacturing, important activities and an important source of employment in the country. The companies employing the highest number of people in the country are: Mercator, Slovenian railways, the Post of Slovenia, Gorenje, Krka, Engrotuš, Revoz, Lek, Merkur and Unior.
From 1993 to 2008 economic results in Slovenia were good, however over 2008 -2010 Slovenia was heavily impacted by the crisis, losing nearly 10% of its GDP. The crisis hit manufacturing companies the hardest, and has deepened in the last year and a half in the construction industry in particular. The labour market reacted with a considerable lag and employment continues its downwards trend and unemployment rate remains below the EU average. Since 2008, when the situation in the Slovenian labour market was really good, by 2011 the number of employed decreased by 60,000 or by 6%. In November 2011 there were 823 419 economically active persons, a fall of 1.2% on the year before .The number of inactive population substantially increased in the transition from 2010 to 2011. There were 29,000 more inactive people in the first quarter of 2011 than in the last quarter of 2010. On average, there were 740,000 inactive persons or 36.1% of total population in 2011 in Slovenia.
Most visible issues are:
- Mismatch between labour market needs and skills,
- Very low participation and employment rates for older workers (36.5% and 35% compared to the EU averages of 49.7% and 46.3% respectively),
- The share of young workers aged 15-24 years on temporary contracts is the highest in the EU (67% in 2009).
Important data for labour force, February 2012:
- The number of persons registered as unemployed with the Employment Service was 115 965,
- The registered unemployment rate went down (decreased by 0. 1and reached 12.4% by the end of the month),
- The number of persons in employment slightly increased (increased by 450 persons in February 2012 compared to the previous month).