For years, there has been a preconceived notion among Serbian population that the easiest way to find a job is to move to Belgrade and that the living standard of the people living in our capital city is the highest. However, the citizens of Belgrade rarely agree with these kinds of statements. Comparative data compiled by the Business Registers Agency clearly speaks in favour of the claims that life in the capital city is easier after all.
It only takes one glance at the employment data per county to see how much Belgrade stands out from the rest. In the capital city, the employment rate among active job seekers is 84.4%. And we are talking about getting a job in a legal way. Compare this to the Toplički County and the data shows that in the places like Žitorađa, Prokuplje or Kuršumlija every second active job seeker cannot find a job in a legitimate way.
This data is from 2014, but if we compare it to the one from several previous years, we can see that things haven’t been progressing much when it comes to regional inequality. When we add to this the information that the average net salary in Belgrade in 2014 was 55,429 Dinars, while the average salary in the Toplički County was only 33,102 Dinars, it becomes very clear that people in the South have it much more difficult than those living on the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube. Despite the high cost of living in the capital city, a 55,000-Dinar-salary, which often is the salary that each adult member of an average Belgrade family receives, will cover much more than in south of the country.
Belgrade is the only county where over 80% of the working-age population looking for a job (excluding those who have been erased from the official unemployment records) actually finds a job. There are several other counties where employment rate exceeds 70% like the North Bačka County (Subotica), North Banat County (Kanjiža, Kikinda), South Bačka County (Novi Sad), Middle Banat County (Zrenjanin), Srem County (Inđija, Ruma), Braničevski County (Požarevac), Kolubarski County (Valjevo), and Moravički County (Čačak, Gornji Milanovac).
If we compare average salaries, it becomes evident that South Serbia is notably poorer and that North Serbia is wealthier. The following are the five counties with the lowest average salary – Pčinjski, Toplički, Jablanički, Rasinski i Raški – where the average salaries range from 32,106 to 35,640 Dinars.
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