Business News


In Business News this week: Unemployment has stopped rising, says the Czech labour minister; the combined sales of the 10 biggest retail chains in the Czech Republic fall for the first time; Tax Freedom Day will fall relatively late for Czechs this year; successful job applicants ask for salaries nearly 20 percent lower than they later receive from employers; and food and drinks producers are enjoying healthy sales as Easter approaches.

Unemployment rate no longer increasing, says Czech labour minister

Unemployment in the Czech Republic stopped rising in March, the minister of labour, Petr Šimerka, said this week, referring to preliminary results. Speaking at the opening of a jobs trade fair, he said he expected developments as regards the jobless rate to be better than in 2009. Minister Šimerka said the structure of employment in the Czech Republic was likely to change, with an upswing expected in segments with higher value added. At the end of February unemployment stood at 9.9 percent, with over 580,000 Czechs out of work.

Biggest retailers see fall in combined sales for first time

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
The combined sales of the 10 biggest retail chains in the Czech Republic have seen a fall for the first time since the establishment of the state in 1993. That’s according to figures from market researchers Incoma GfK quoted in the magazine Moderní obchod. Whereas in 2008 the 10 biggest chains had sales of CZK 312 billion, last year they took in 309 billion. That slight drop has been attributed partly to the financial crisis. But an analyst from Incoma GfK said the main reason was a change in the structure of chains; acquisitions like the owners of Billa’s incorporation of Plus stores tend to result in a temporary fall in sales.

Tax Freedom Day set to fall later than at any time for decade

What is known as Tax Freedom Day will come relatively late for Czechs this year, according to Prague’s Liberální Institut. Tax Freedom Day, which is the first day of the year on which a nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden, will fall on June 18 in the Czech Republic, says the free market think tank. That is five days later than last year, and the latest date seen in a decade.

Gap between jobseekers’ pay demands and reality reflect post-crisis uncertainty

Job advertisements in the Czech Republic typically don’t state the remuneration applicants can expect, and in interviews Czechs tend to ask for lower salaries than employers later pay them. According to research by recruitment firm Profesia quoted by the news website, the gap is on average 19 percent. A similar survey two years ago, before the financial crisis hit, found that what successful applicants asked for was 9 percent less than they later received; the fact the gap is twice as wide now could be seen as evidence of increased uncertainty among workers, suggests

Easter second only to Christmas for Czech food and drinks producers

The Easter holiday is second only to Christmas as a boom period for food and drinks producers in the Czech Republic. A spokesperson for the country’s poultry breeders’ association said this week that sales of eggs at Easter and Christmas were usually 10 to 20 percent higher than during rest of the year. Domestic fish producers also say that, after Christmas, this is the time of the year when they do most business. Sales of some meats that are rarely eaten at other times, like lamb and kid, also rise considerably. Distillers say they typically see sales rise by 5 to 10 percent at Easter, some way short of the 50 percent increase they record in the pre-Christmas period.