Business & Economy Czech Republic News

Czech Republic: Job vacancy rate reaches record high

Prague, Czech Republic – The job vacancy rate in the Czech Republic is the highest in the European Union and reached a historic high last year, according to Eurostat.

The job vacancy rate represents the proportion of total vacant posts (newly created, unoccupied or about to become vacant) as a percentage of the total number of positions (occupied + vacant) in European economies.

At the end of 2018, the job vacancy rate in the Czech Republic stood at 6%, nearly twice as high as Belgium (3.4%), Germany (3.4%) and Austria (3.1%), the countries with the second, third and fourth highest rates – and nearly three times as much as the EU and Eurozone average (2.3%). The Czech Republic also reported the highest increase compared to the same period the previous year (+1.6 percentage point).

Job vacancy

At the opposite end of the scope, the lowest job vacancy rates were reported in Greece (0.4%), as well as Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Bulgaria (all 0.9%).

With a job vacancy rate of 2.7%, Hungary is the only other Central European country with a higher rate than the EU average, compared to 1.3% in Slovakia and 1.1% in Poland.

With a relatively low immigration and strong emigration drive, the Czech Republic has long struggled with an excessively low unemployment (the lowest in the EU for several years in a row) and high job vacancy rate. Although a sign of the Czech economy’s health and dynamic growth, labour shortages also hamper local companies’ prospects, as employers cite the struggle to find applicants and fill open vacancies as one of the main challenges and strains on their activity.

To address the issue, many businesses turn to foreign workers, who now represent a staggering one fourth of total employment in Prague. The Czech government has also taken action to ease the burden and tries to facilitate visa and employment procedures for non-EU workers – including from Ukraine, Serbia, Mongolia or the Philippines – often employed in low-skilled jobs in the manufacturing and industrial sector.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.