Slovenia is a central European country bordering Austria (to the north), Italy (to the west), Hungary (to the north-east) and Croatia (to the east and south). It has a surface area of 20 273 km2 and a population of 2,019,406. The capital city is Ljubljana.
Since 1993, economic results in Slovenia have been positive. With restructuring largely complete, the economy has become more competitive and export-oriented. Thanks to more extensive foreign trade and greater investment activities, economic growth of 6.1 % was achieved in 2007.
The processes of economic restructuring, which began in the late 1980s, have been reflected in the sectoral structure as a decline in the agricultural and non-agricultural sector and the growth of the service sector. Production has fallen in individual activities such as the mining, textile, leather, food and wood processing industries. In manufacturing, production is increasing, in particular of chemicals, chemical products, man-made fibres, products made of rubber and plastic, metals and metal products, machines and instruments and electrical and optical equipment. Another important sector, alongside manufacturing, is construction. Commerce continues to strengthen, tourism is developing, while the fastest growth is being recorded in the field of business services. Successful large enterprises or groups of enterprises include Lek, Gorenje, Krka, Merkur, Mercator, Revoz Unior, Primorje, Petrol, Pivovarna Laško, Hidria, Helios and, Sava.
Economic growth is also affecting conditions on the labour market, where employment is increasing and unemployment is decreasing. Despite the shedding of jobs in individual labour intensive sectors, the number of economically active persons has been on the increase since 2004. Figures for February 2008 show that there were 870,947 economically active persons in the country (figures from the register of economically active population of Slovenia), up 3.5 % from the previous year.
In March 2008 the number of registered unemployed was 64,295 (unemployed persons registered with the Employment Service of Slovenia), down 13.4% from a year ago. The structure of unemployment remains problematic, in particular among women and older people, while recently the proportion of the unemployed with further and higher education qualifications has been growing, especially among the young. The registered unemployment rate in February 2008 was 7.1 %. According to the internationally comparable data from the Labour Force Survey, in the last quarter of 2007 the survey rate of unemployment was 4.7 %, which is below the European Union average. The level of activity of the population was 59.4 % and the level of economic activity 56.6 %.