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Unemployment Not Expected to Fall Before 2013

Ljubljana, 08 April (STA) - The situation on the labour market will not improve this year or next, with the first positive changes expected only in 2013, the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), the government's economic think-tank, said on Friday.

The number of registered jobless stood at almost 114,000 at the end of March, a figure that it expected to change little throughout the year, IMAD director Bostjan Vasle told the press as he presented the latest issue of IMAD's publication Economic Mirror.

Employment is dropping in construction and markets services but rising in public services; while the number of employees in the civil service dropped by 300 year-on-year in January, it has been rising in education and social security.

Aside from overall unemployment, one major problem that the Slovenian market faces is age segmentation. As Vasle pointed out, the share of temporary employment among youths is the highest in the EU.

Nevertheless, Vasle voiced support for the mini jobs law, whose fate voters will decide in a referendum on Sunday precisely because youths claim it will make their job prospects worse.

He said structural reforms, including mini jobs, were crucial in order to improve the flexibility of the labour market.

The government must get serious about labour market reform; temporary measures have yielded results, but they cannot address major structural problems in the labour market, according to Vasle.

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