The situation of the labour market in the Slovakia is really serious. According to the research of TASR (2012) the unemployment rate in Slovakia has increased by 1,1% in comparison with the last year. Slovakia belongs to group of countries with the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. The current rate is 14,8 %.
The labour market in Slovakia is characterized by big regional differences. There is “rich west” and “poor east”. Western Slovakia with the capital Bratislava has lower unemployment rate amounting to 10,82%. On the other hand Eastern Slovakia faces higher unemployment 18,85%. Big differences are visible even among Slovakian administrative districts. The district of the capital Bratislava is typical by the lowest unemployment rate in country 5,4% as opposed to district of Rimavská Sobota with the highest unemployment rate of 34,59% (REGIODAT, 2011, http://px-web.statistics.sk/PXWebSlovak/ ). You can also see variety of unemployment in districts of Slovakia on the first picture. The main reason for these differences is insufficient infrastructure in regions of Eastern and Middle Slovakia.
Figure 1: Unemplyment rate in Slovakia in 2011
The capital Bratislava has very good location, because it is situated near Austrian and Czech borders, so most of the foreign investors are focusing on this region. Giant and successful companies like IBM, PWC, Ernest&Young, Dell, Eset, Procter&Gamble are the biggest employers in Slovakia, but unfortunately their scope of interest is situated only in the western part of the country. Even though most of these companies have branches also in Eastern Slovakia, they do not hire so many people there as in Western region.
Other serious problem comes with the problem of insufficient infrastructure. It is problem influencing most of the students in the Eastern Slovakia. After they receive their professional degree, it is almost impossible for them to find a job in the field they previously studied. Mostly, they have two options how to find a job. When they decide to stay in eastern region, they can generally find job, which is not in field of their specialization. In most cases, absolvent of university works in restaurants as waiter, barman… The second possibility is to move to Bratislava or even abroad (the most frequent countries are UK, Czech Republic, Austria…). Unfortunately, it is not sure, that if the absolvent moves abroad, he will find a job in the field which he studied.
The problem of regional differences could be solved by the government by building the highway to Kosice. The better traffic connection with Kosice and region of Eastern Slovakia ensures bigger attractiveness for investors and big employers. After the successful elimination of unemployment in regions of Eastern Slovakia the situation in the labour market should improve. Slovakia disposes of qualified labour force so it could use this competitive advantage to become competitor to advanced countries.
written by Lenka Filova, Lucija Kacin, Cansu Bayar, Eyyüp Dönderalp