Prague, Czech Republic – According to data released by Eurostat, the Czech Republic has the highest job vacancy rate in the EU (5.4% in the second quarter of 2018) and showed the biggest increase year-on-year (+1.8 pp).
Belgium (3.5%), the Netherlands (3.1%) and Germany (2.9%) follow, while the lowest rates were observed in Greece (0.7%), Bulgaria, Spain and Portugal (all 0.9%). The average job vacancy rate in the EU was 2.2%, more than half as much as in the Czech Republic.
Strong differences can be observed with other Visegrad Four economies: while Hungary‘s job vacancy rate strongly increased over one year to reach 2.7% during the second quarter, Poland (1.3%) and Slovakia (1.2%) remain well below EU average.
The Czech Republic also has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe (3.1% in August), and Prague specifically stands out as one of the most dynamic European regions, with an unemployment rate of 1.7% in 2017. According to estimates, there are approximately 230.000 unemployed people in the Czech Republic, the lowest level since 1997, while more than 300.000 positions remain vacant.
Such astounding figures are bound to arouse the envy of other countries in Europe. And it does. In a rather comical – and timely – development, it so happens that the French unemployment office is organising, this very day, a seminar in the outskirts of Paris to promote the strengths and attractiveness of the Czech economy to unemployed French people, with the ultimate goal of convincing them to move east. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, and is part of a wider campaign launched by the French embassy in Prague, called “Czech Emploi” (website in French). Its purpose? Persuade France’s unemployed to relocate to the Czech Republic and help them along the way.
In a number of other countries, similar initiatives have also been launched, a win-win situation for both Western European countries, struggling with high unemployment rates, and the Czech Republic, battling with growing labour shortages.