OVI for March 2023: Robust growth rate of labor demand in the first quarter

April 11, 2023

According to seasonally adjusted data, in March the OVI index recorded a mild growth of 1.3 percent compared to the previous month, but due to the high growth rate in January, the result for the first quarter still points to a robust growth rate of 5.3 percent compared to the last quarter of 2022. On an annual level, the index rose by 12 percent compared to March last year, which is the highest annual growth rate recorded since October last year.

The five most sought-after occupations remained the same compared to March last year, the only change being that demand for waiters took over second place from cooks, who this year came in third place. Salesperson is still the occupation that is highest in demand, followed by waiters, cooks, warehouse workers, and drivers. Interestingly, demand for waiters and cooks on an annual level is actually in decline. The largest drop in the number of job advertisements in absolute terms on an annual level in March was recorded for programmers and designers, while the highest increase was recorded for the occupations of salesperson and teacher. The highest positive contribution to the 12 percent annual growth rate came from job advertisements for salespersons, teachers, and clerks, while the highest negative contribution came from job advertisements for programmers and designers. Compared to March 2022, the share of advertisements requiring secondary level education increased significantly (from 30.3 percent to 34.0 percent), and the share of those requiring university degree level increased as well (from 6.7 percent to 8.6 percent). As in the first two months of this year, the share of job advertisements offering permanent employment rose, from 44.5 percent to 47.2 percent, while the share of job advertisements offering fixed-term employment decreased over the year, from 42.6 percent to 41.6 percent. With regard to geographical distribution of jobs, the number of job advertisements increased in all regions, but the highest increase was recorded in central Croatia, with an annual growth rate of 6.9 percent. The second highest growth rate was recorded in the northern Adriatic (2.9 percent), followed by the southern Adriatic (2.7 percent) and eastern Croatia (0.7 percent). In all four regions, salesperson was the most sought-after occupation, followed by cooks and waiters in the Adriatic regions, waiters and bookkeepers in central Croatia, and teachers and nurses in eastern Croatia.


What is OVI?

Online Vacancy Index (OVI) is a monthly index of online job advertisements developed by the Institute of Economics, Zagreb in cooperation with the web portal MojPosao. The index aims to provide timely information regarding current labor demands. OVI index is developed by means of simple enumeration of single new job advertisements whose application deadlines end within the same month for which the index is being calculated. Given that advertisements published by only one web portal are taken into account, the number of job advertisements is expressed as an index (with the base year being 2015). 

The index is to be interpreted in such a way that the values greater than 100 represent growth when compared to 2015, and accordingly, that the values less than 100 represent a decrease with respect to the base year. Index is seasonally adjusted using the X-12-ARIMA method.

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