OVI for March 2024: Labor demand drops by -3 percent in the first quarter of 2024

April 3, 2024

The OVI index recorded a drop on an annual level in all three months of the first quarter, with the decrease in March being the biggest drop in the last 37 months, amounting to -8.2 percent compared to March last year. In the first three months of this year, the index thus fell by -5.1 percent compared to the same period last year, which is the biggest decrease in the last three years. The OVI index fell in March according to seasonally adjusted data as well, by -4.2 percent compared to the previous month, which is the biggest drop since June last year, while the seasonally adjusted quarterly growth rate was -3 percent compared to the previous quarter, which is the biggest drop in the last year and a half. Although labor demand fell in the first quarter, the seasonally adjusted index rose mildly in the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, by 0.1 percent.

Salesperson, waiter, cook, warehouse worker, and driver are still the most sought-after occupations, same as a year ago, although the number of job advertisements for all occupations except cooks fell in March on an annual level, and together contributed to OVI’s decrease with -0.6 percentage points. Job advertisements for cooks had the highest positive contribution to the index, with 0.2 percentage points, while job advertisements for teachers had a negative contribution of as much as -2.2 percentage points, alongside advertisements for programmers, IT workers, and car repair workers, each contributing -0.5 percentage points. The share of advertisements seeking secondary level education continued to increase (from 62 to 65.5 percent), while the share of advertisements seeking lower levels of education fell from 14.5 to 13.9 percent, and the share of those requiring high levels of education fell from 23.4 to 20.6 percent. Unlike the previous months, all types of contracts contributed negatively to the total index in March, with the biggest negative contribution coming from advertisements offering fixed-term employment, with the number of these advertisements falling by -13.7 percent in the past year. All four geographical regions recorded a decrease in the number of job advertisements, but it was the most pronounced in central Croatia and the northern Adriatic, where the number of job advertisements fell on an annual level in March by -6.9 percent and -14.9 percent, respectively. In both regions, the biggest negative contribution to OVI’s decrease came from job advertisements for teachers. On the other hand, the highest positive contribution to the index in central Croatia came from job advertisements for warehouse workers, and in the northern Adriatic from job advertisements for cooks, waiters, and hotel/hospitality staff.


What is OVI?

Online Vacancy Index (OVI) is a monthly index of online job advertisements developed by the Institute of Economics, Zagreb in cooperation with the web portal MojPosao. The index aims to provide timely information regarding current labor demands. OVI index is developed by means of simple enumeration of single new job advertisements whose application deadlines end within the same month for which the index is being calculated. Given that advertisements published by only one web portal are taken into account, the number of job advertisements is expressed as an index (with the base year being 2020). 

The index is to be interpreted in such a way that the values greater than 100 represent growth when compared to 2020, and accordingly, that the values less than 100 represent a decrease with respect to the base year. The index is seasonally adjusted using the X-12-ARIMA method.

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