Monday

26th Sep 2016

Macedonia - European champion of unemployment

In Macedonia, the unemployment rate is not just a little higher than elsewhere in Europe. Even compared to other European countries hard hit by joblessness, Macedonia is in a class of its own. Last year, 32.3 percent of the total labour force were without employment, according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat.

The situation is even more desperate among young people: More than 50 per cent are looking for work, without success.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Skopje - lots of building projects in the pipeline but a high unemployment rate (Photo: Dnevnik/Macedonia)

In the EU, there are two countries with an alarmingly high rate of unemployment: Spain and Latvia. In both countries, around one fifth of the workforce is waiting for a job. And it is no coincidence that Spain and Latvia are among those European countries where the recent financial and economic crisis had its biggest impact. Latvia needed outside support to overcome liquidity bottlenecks. Spain came under pressure as speculative traders turned against it because of the high debt of private households.

In contrast, the financial crisis did not strike Macedonia overly hard. One reason was the "practically non-existing exposure to toxic assets," says the EU commission.

But on the other hand, experts are not optimistic that Macedonia now can use the recovery to reduce unemployment significantly. The jobs that Macedonia created in the recent past do not reflect economic dynamism but rather an increase in public spending and special administrative effects by stricter rules.

Therefore, the EU commission expects job creation in Macedonia to remain flat this year and the next. Eurostat figures for the first quarter of 2010 even show a deteriorating picture. The unemployment rate climbed to 33.6 percent, well above the comparative data of 2009. It seems that Macedonia is set to remain European Champion of Unemployment for the time being.

Italy lays out 'vision' of EU army

Italy has laid out plans for the creation of a “European force” that goes beyond Franco-German proposals on defence integration.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  2. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  3. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  4. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  5. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  6. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  7. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  8. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  9. YouthProAktivEntrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
  10. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeDon't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. ACCAKaras Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union