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Connecting People with Jobs: The Labour Market, Activation Policies and Disadvantaged Workers in Slovenia

image of Connecting People with Jobs: The Labour Market, Activation Policies and Disadvantaged Workers in Slovenia

Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. However, weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. This report on Slovenia is the second country study published in a series of reports looking into how activation policies can encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged. Labour market and activation policies are well developed in Slovenia. However, the global financial crisis hit Slovenia hard and revealed some structural weaknesses in the system, which have contributed to a high level of long-term unemployment and low employment rates for some groups. This report on Slovenia therefore focuses on activation policies to improve labour market outcomes for four groups: long-term unemployed people; low-skilled workers; older workers; and workers who were made or are at risk of becoming displaced. There is room to improve policies through promoting longer working lives and through enabling the Employment Service and related institutions to help more harder-to-place jobseekers back into employment.

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Key labour market outcomes in Slovenia: Tackling some long-standing issues

Before the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008/2009, Slovenia experienced a period of considerable and stable economic growth, including a large increase in employment. However, the crisis hit Slovenia hard, resulting in a large drop in employment and record levels of unemployment, often the result of jobs wiped out by firms closing or down-sizing. Only in 2014 did the situation slowly start to improve. Nevertheless, levels of long-term unemployment remain high and there is a considerable risk for some of the cyclical unemployment to translate into a structural one. In the context of its recent but still modest recovery, Slovenia is trying to rectify a number of the structural labour market weaknesses and address the weak employment situation especially of low-skilled and older workers who have very low labour market attachment by international standards.

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