A booming economy on the back of higher wages, more people in jobs, and strong exports – fuelled largely by the auto sector - and hardly dimmed by the end of the low crown and resurrection of interest rates as a central bank weapon. That was the big economic picture of the Czech economy in 2017 with the foot on the pedal likely to be lifted just slightly over the coming 12 months.
In his Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman highlighted the country’s economic successes, telling Czechs they had much to be proud of. As regards the country’s political future, Miloš Zeman ruled out early elections, telling politicians they would have to play the cards they had been dealt in the elections.
The number of Ukrainian citizens applying for permits to work in the Czech
Republic is continuing to rise, novinky.cz reported on Saturday. While two
years ago the figure was around 170 a month, it has now reached 1,000 a
month, the news site said.
With a very high number of jobs unfilled in the Czech Republic, employers have expressed great interest in hiring Ukrainians through a government scheme named Ukraine Regime. The initial intention was to bring in 3,800 a year. However, the total number of applicants over this year and 2016 has been more than 10,000.
The increased interest has put a strain on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior, which oversee the scheme, novinky.cz said. Whereas applications were dealt with within a week in August 2016 that process now takes 114 days.
A law passed last year forces large stores in the Czech Republic to shut their doors on seven state holidays every year, including at Christmas. However, the issue is now back in the news, with the opposition Civic Democrats pushing to have the legislation overturned and the governing ANO declaring a neutral stance.
The Cabinet on Friday agreed to close down 14 departments at ministries and
the Government Office.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Friday that his government was getting rid of 73 posts as part of a reorganisation at ministries.
The changes will come into force at the beginning of 2018. Another shake-up is planned for March next year.
Czechs are less willing to move because of work, according to an analysis
by the Grafton Recruitment agency, released by Czech News Agency on
Some 65 percent of people would not be willing to move despite a better job offer, which is nine percentage points more than in 2015. Among the reasons behind the increase is low unemployment and increasing salaries.
Labour mobility in the Czech Republic has traditionally been low compared to Western Europe.
The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the EU in 2016,
according to the Statistical Yearbook, released by the Czech Statistical
Office on Wednesday.
In 2017 the Czech Republic had an average four percent unemployment rate, compared with EU average of 6.8 percent. The Czech Republic was followed by Germany with 4.1 percent, while Greece was placed at the other end of the scale with 23.6 percent.
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