OVI for May 2023: Decrease in labor demand in May confirms that the search for seasonal workers began earlier this year

June 2, 2023

According to seasonally adjusted data, the OVI index decreased in May by -1.2 percent compared to the previous month, which is the first decrease since December last year. On an annual level, the drop is even more pronounced, -2.3 percent, which is the first such drop since the pandemic month of February 2021. However, seasonally adjusted data for the first two months of the second quarter indicate a moderate growth in the second quarter of 2023 on a quarterly level, both compared to the previous quarter and on an annual level.

If we take a closer look at the job advertisements, we can see that seasonal jobs in tourism are the main reason for the decrease in labor demand, most probably because seasonal hiring, which is usually at its peak in May, this year started much earlier. The most sought-after occupations have remained the same compared to May 2022 (salesperson, waiter, cook, warehouse worker, and driver), although the number of job advertisements for both waiters and cooks decreased in May on an annual level. The largest drop in the number of job advertisements in absolute terms on an annual level in May was recorded for cooks, programmers, and waiters, while the highest increase was recorded for auto-mechanics and bricklayers. Most job advertisements required secondary level education (64.8 percent), while the share of advertisements requiring higher level education was 18.4 percent, and lower level education 16.7 percent. With regard to type of contract, the highest positive contribution to the increase in number of job advertisements came from advertisements offering permanent employment, with a 45.1 percent share in May, while the share of job advertisements for seasonal work decreased over the year from 15.9 percent to 11.1 percent. With regard to geographical distribution of jobs, the number of job advertisements decreased in coastal Croatia, and increased the most in eastern Croatia, by as much as 43.8 percent. In eastern Croatia, the highest positive contribution to the job advertisement growth rate came from job advertisements for teachers, bricklayers, cooks, and carpenters.


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 2015). 

The index is to be interpreted in such a way that the values greater than 100 represent growth when compared to 2015, and accordingly, that the values less than 100 represent a decrease with respect to the base year. Index is seasonally adjusted using the X-12-ARIMA method.

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