World Bank projects economic growth of Serbia of 3% in 2017 – Employment increases by 7.2% in 12 months

Source: N1 Sunday, 09.04.2017. 15:06
(Photo: Syda Productions/
The economic growth in Serbia and Albania contributed the most to the gross domestic products of the Western Balkans’ growing by 2.8% in 2016, as stated in the report on the state of the economies of the Western Balkans by the World Bank.

The growth of the economies, as they say at the World Bank, has contributed to the growth of the number of the employed as well. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate is still worryingly high, and new jobs are often found in the black market. In Serbia, as many as 570,000 people work without social insurance.

The GDP of Serbia will grow by 3% in 2017 and by 3.5% in 2018, the report states. It adds that the economic growth will lead to new jobs as well.

– Unemployment was reduced throughout the Western Balkans, except in Montenegro. Serbia has the biggest employment rate growth in the region in 2016 at 7.2% - says Ekaterina Vostroknutova of the World Bank.

She added that Serbia was also “the only country in the region to reduce external deficit and external exposure risk, thanks to good reforms... whereas the external deficit in other countries of the region has increased due to the joint effect of big investment projects being carried out and low prices of raw materials”.

Nevertheless, the employment rate has increased considerably on the back of illegal employment as well – around 43 thousand newly employed (30%) are unregistered.

– The growth is down to a very good agricultural season. A good part of them are employed in the agricultural sector. Another factor is the recovery of the construction industry. Most people working in the informal sector work in these two sectors – explains Lazar Sestovic of the World Bank.

The unions, on the other hand, believe that it is the flaw of the workforce survey that it takes into account those employed illegally.

Many economists question the accuracy of the statistics. They say that, if the employment rate growth is such, it should reflect on the economy. The World Bank also says that there were problems with the statistics, but does not question the results of the past years.

According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate among the young has dropped from around 40% to 31.2%.

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