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Surge in Foreign Workforce in Croatia

Croatia is witnessing a significant uptick in its foreign workforce, with the latest figures from the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) showcasing over 172,000 employed, marking an impressive 28% increase in residence and work permits compared to the previous year

The demand for labor spans across various sectors, with an acute shortage felt in nearly all industries. Projections by the Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP) suggest that, to sustain economic momentum and market dynamics, Croatia might see the necessity to welcome over half a million foreign workers by 2030.

Predominantly, these international talents find opportunities within construction, tourism, and the industrial sectors—areas particularly hard-hit by labor deficits. HUP’s analysis points to a future where foreign workers could constitute nearly a third of the total employment pool in Croatia, underscoring a transformative shift in the labor market landscape.

However, the integration of foreign workers is not without its challenges, necessitating robust legislative frameworks to mitigate arising issues.

Anticipated reforms in the Foreigners Act aim to instill order and enhanced security within the employment ecosystem. Among the proposed measures are blacklists for employers who fail to register their workers and provisions to facilitate Croatian language learning for foreign employees, ensuring smoother cultural and professional integration.

With a diverse range of job profiles in demand and an unemployment rate at a historic low of 6.5%, the Croatian Employment Service highlights intriguing incentives for self-employment, pointing towards a more inclusive and dynamic economic future for Croatia.

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