BRATISLAVA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The unemployment rate in Slovakia decreased to 8.39 percent in February, Slovak Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre General Director Marian Valentovic announced at a press conference on Monday.
"The unemployment is down by 0.25 percentage points month-on-month and by 1.70 percentage points year-on-year. The number of jobseekers immediately able to start work was 228,665 in February," said Valentovic.
Nevertheless, the labour offices reported 40,809 job vacancies in late February, up by 2,446 compared with January. According to Lubomir Korsnak, analyst of UniCredit Bank, the main vacancies are in the machinery industry.
The analyst said to lure new labor force, employers have lowered their requirements, but are still short of hands.
Korsnak cited the reluctancy of the workers to work far away from their home as a reason.
"Many people from districts with the higher unemployment rate don't want to move for the new job in the different region of the country," said Korsnak.
But the gap is being filled by some foreign workers, according to the analyst.
In comparison with last year, the number of working foreign citizens in Slovakia has significantly increased from 27,000 to 37,500, said Korsnak.
"At least the half of the foreigners working in Slovakia has very low education without completed secondary school. This means that they are not better qualified than most of the Slovak unemployed, but they are willing to travel for work and accept lower salaries," explained Korsnak, who expects that Slovak economy will in the next months produce new jobs and therefore move the unemployment rate closer to the historical minimum from June 2008 with 7.4 percent.