ZAGREB, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Croatian government decided on Thursday to issue 65,100 work permits for foreign nationals in 2019 in an effort to tackle labor shortage in industries of construction, tourism, and hospitality.
It is 20,331 more permits compared to 2018, the Labor Minister Marko Pavic said at the government session.
"By increasing the quota for foreign workers, we want to ensure further growth of the Croatian economy and increase of GDP by 2.9 percent," Pavic said.
The number of work permits for the non-EU workers mostly increased in the construction and tourism. Employers will be able to hire 6,000 more foreign workers in construction industry (from 11,755 in 2018 to 17,800 in 2019) and about 6,700 more in tourism (from 8,930 in 2018 to 15,611 next year).
Out of 65,100 work permits in 2019, around 15,000 will be extensions to people who are already working in Croatia. The employers are left with 50,100 new permits.
The minister stressed that the government will keep on trying to activate the domestic workforce. At the moment there are 147,860 unemployed people in Croatia. The government has secured 4.5 billion kuna (almost 700 million U.S. dollars) to activate these people. The country is also faced with the mass migration of young people who are leaving for better job opportunities in other EU countries.