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GZS Sees Bleak Prospects for Last Surviving Slovenian Builders

Ljubljana, 07 March (STA) - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) forecast on Thursday a bleak future for the few builders that have survived the collapse of the construction sector in Slovenia. The crisis is continuing, companies are trying to find work for their workers abroad, while foreign builders are expected to step up pressure on the Slovenian market.

Foreign contractors are expected to enter the market above all in public projects, which require bank guarantees that are no longer attainable for many Slovenian companies, the chamber said in a press release.

"Obviously the poor systemic organisation of construction in Slovenia will lead us to further major increases in unemployment on the one side and mass hiring of foreigners at our remaining construction sites on the other."

The GZS lists Statistics Office data showing a record drop in employment in the sector in December, with the figure decreasing by 4,593 to 53,494. In the whole of 2012, the number of people employed in construction was down by 8,563.

Since October 2008, when construction still provided 92,171 jobs, the figure dropped by 38,677 or by almost 42%, as the amount of construction work decreased by almost 60% in the last four years.

At the end of February this year, 12,756 people who used to work in construction were registered as unemployed, the Employment Service told the STA.

It added that 5,243 vacant posts were published in the sector in the first two months this year, while noting that the fluctuations have a lot to do with the seasonal nature of the business.

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