The spread of the new coronavirus and the adoption of measures to contain it, in both Slovenia and the European Union, are expected to have a strong impact on the decline in economic activity. As a result, the number of registered unemployed increased markedly, especially in early April and then things began to calm down.
The drop in production was in March, when the epidemic was at its peak, as deep as at the beginning of the economic crisis at the end of year 2008. The reason was a decline in foreign demand, supply chains were disrupted and many companies stopped production everywhere. The number of unemployed in Slovenia began to increase markedly in mid-March, but growth has slowed in recent weeks.
By the end of April, the number of unemployed had risen to 88.648 (by just under a one fifth more than a year ago), and in the first half of May it had risen by another 1.500, to about 90.000. Among the newly registered, most were persons whose contracts were not extended by their employers; most of them were from younger age groups. As expected, they had the most problems in catering, tourism, trade and manufacturing.
It is encouraging, however, that the rise in the number of unemployed has slowed down more visibly in recent weeks. This is linked to the launch of some activities and the easing of containment measures, as well as to the adoption of a second legislative package, to mitigate the economic consequences of the crisis. The government has now prepared already a third legislative package to help the economy, which will further accelerate the start-up of the economy.
The action was quick and effective and the positive results are visible at every step. Forecasts for this year show a drop of about 8% in economic activity, but if Slovenia is led by this government, which is by far the best that could happen to us in this period, we will fix it next year, when we will be at the level before the epidemic again.