Croatia's survey unemployment rate in Q4 2015 was 16.1%, which is 2.2 percentage points less than in the same quarter of 2014, when the rate stood at 18.3%, shows the latest labour force survey by the national statistical office (DZS).

The survey unemployment rate in Q4 2015, based on the methodology of the International Labour Organisation, was 0.7 pp higher than in the previous quarter, when it stood at 15.4%.

Commenting on DZS data, analysts of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) have said that the situation on the labour market improved in 2015 for the second consecutive year.

They underlined, however, that that trend was entirely out of sync with trends formed on the basis of administrative sources and difficult to explain, given the dynamic of economic activity.

"Given the fall in economic activity in 2014 and its mild growth in 2015, it is difficult to explain the recovery of the labour market which always follows the growth of economic activity with a certain delay," the HGK says.

According to the latest survey, there were 304,000 jobless in the country in Q4 2015, 43,000 fewer than in Q4 2014, and 7,000 more than in the previous quarter.

There were 1.58 million employed persons in Q4 2015, a drop of 45,000 from the previous quarter and an increase of 32,000 compared to Q4 2014.

The employment rate, which shows the share of employed people in the working-age population, was 44% in Q4 2015, a drop from the previous quarter, when it stood at 45.3%, and an increase compared to the employment rate in Q4 2014, which stood at 43%.

There were 3.597 million working-age people (above 15) in the country in Q4 2015, including 1.88 million active people (both employed and unemployed) and 1.7 million inactive people.

The total number of working-age people in Q4 2015 was down both on the annual and on the quarterly level, by 16,000 and 3,000 respectively.

The activity rate, which shows the share of active population in the working-age population, was 52.5%, one percentage point down from Q3 2015 and 0.1 pp down from Q4 2014.

"The survey data for 2015 show a slowing down of the positive employment and activity trends that started in 2014, while the working-age population continued to shrink for the seventh consecutive year. Croatia needs a more dynamic recovery of the labour market in relation to most EU countries in order to compensate for the decline in recent years," the HGK says.

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