The total number of employed foreigners in Slovakia reached a historic high of 97,263 this June, according to statistics from the Central Office of the Labour, Social Affairs and Family (UPSVAR).
This figure represents a remarkable growth rate of 68 per cent since June 2018, when there were 57,998 foreigners employed in the country.
According to UPSVAR, the recent influx of people fleeing the war in Ukraine has led to a significant increase in the number of employed foreigners in Slovakia, with Ukrainians being the most represented nationality in this group, numbering 36,929 as of June.
Following Ukrainians are Serbians, with 9,967 individuals as of June 2023.
Data also shows that among EU nationals, the number of employed foreigners is also substantial, with Romanians being the highest at 7,257.
The growth in the number of foreigners employed in Slovakia over the past ten years is remarkable. In May 2023, Slovak companies also reported a high number of foreign workers – 95,585. This figure starkly contrasts the 13,400 foreigners employed in the country in 2013.
The increase of 95,585 foreigners employed in Slovakia compared to 13,400 in 2013 represents a more than sevenfold growth in the last decade.
“Ten years ago, about 45 per cent of Slovak companies had a shortage of people; now it is about 75 per cent. And it is expected that in 2030 up to 90 per cent of our companies will not be able to find a suitable workforce, which represents a big risk for our entire economy,” Association of Personnel Agencies of Slovakia (APAS) president Zuzana Rumiz pointed out in this regard.
As the authorities disclosed, the labour market in Slovakia is experiencing significant transformation and rapid development, leading to shortages in various industries.
Currently, there are nearly 100,000 jobs throughout the country that companies need help filling. The automotive and agriculture sectors are particularly affected by these shortages.
Apart from these sectors, there are also shortages in other professions, depending on the region. The UPSVAR reports shortages in care workers, doctors, medical specialists, nurses, drivers, warehouse operators, plumbers, and many others.
While employers and civil society advocate for simplified migration legislation to make it easier for migrants to access the labour market, policymakers seem conservative.
For Ukrainian professionals who have been granted temporary protection in Slovakia due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, their employment situation demonstrates the difficulties they face in finding positions that match their qualifications and expertise. Many professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and teachers, work in low-skilled jobs despite their higher skill sets and education.