During the years of the Yugoslav federation, Croatia enjoyed a fairly strong economy based on heavy industry, agriculture and tourism. With independence, Croatia lost its Yugoslavian market. Additionally, the country faces numerous economic problems arising from communist mismanagement and the infrastructural and social damages of war; unemployment has been high. Croatia is still in transition to a privatized, market-based economy, though it has made impressive recoveries since the end of its civil war.
Croatia's geography and location offer excellent economic opportunities. Since the Middle Ages, Croatians have been engaged in livestock farming, agriculture, viticulture, shipbuilding, fishing, trade, sea trade and stonemasonry. Much of the land is arable, allowing the widespread production of fruit, grain, olive oil, sugar, wine, liquor and beer. The country's principle exports are wheat, corn, beets, sunflower seed, alfalfa, clover, olives, grapes, soy beans and potatoes.
Other natural resources are coal, bauxite, iron, and minerals such as calcium, asphalt, silica, mica, clays and salt, which is produced and exported from the Adriatic town of Ston. The Adriatic islands contain high-quality marble that supports the stonemasonry industry. Croatia's rich forests and abundant waters have supported the development of local and international trade, as well as the production of paper and furniture. Croatia also exports petroleum, machinery, transportation and electrical equipment, chemicals, fuels, textiles and food products. Since the end of the war, the tourism industry has been gradually reviving. Approximately one-third of the workforce is employed in industry, while a greater number work in services.
The Adriatic coast is the location of prosperous fishing and shipbuilding industries that have long been important to Croatia's economy. Major ports along the Adriatic are Rijeka, Split, Pula and Dubrovnik.
The Croatian Constitution guarantees the equal right to work, regardless of gender, ethnicity, politics, or religious affiliation. Women constitute almost half the workforce, working as teachers, architects, doctors, lawyers and engineers. In general, Croatian workers are highly skilled and educated. Benefits offered through the workplace include retirement pensions, though not all workers qualify for them.