For two-thirds of young people in Serbia, having a job does not mean they will be able to live independently from their parents – says the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights’ report on the Human Rights of Young People in Serbia in 2021 presented in Belgrade in late June.
According to the findings of the cited research, young people in Serbia earn 16 percent less than the general average, and most of them say they can barely make ends meet, which is why they cannot live independently from their parents. “Most young people have temporary or casual job contracts, which is not proper employment. They are denied the rights that according to the Labour Law other employees have,” says Nevena Trofimenko from the Centre.
Still, the majority of young people in Serbia have no income (58.4 percent), according to a report by the Umbrella Organization of Serbian Youth (KOMS), which represents 106 youth associations.
In May 2022, nearly 20 percent of the unemployed people registered with the National Employment Service (NZS) were under the age of 30. Labourers, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, masons, carpenters, drivers, and electricians are most in demand.
As of May this year, there were 86,595 unemployed people under the age of 30 in the records of the National Employment Service, according to the Ministry of Labour. As they point out, however, there was a sharp increase in employment in May compared to April.
Among the 20,000 people who got a job through the National Employment Service, young people account for 20 percent. However, for years, young people have made up one-fifth of the unemployed, recalls Sarita Bradaš, a researcher at the nongovernmental organization Foundation Centre for Democracy. “In 2019 they accounted for 20 percent, and in 2020, that percentage jumped to 21.4,” she adds.
According to a report by the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, up to 75 percent of people in Serbia under the age of 35 have difficulty earning enough to cover basic expenses, which is why most of them live with their parents. Nearly 50 percent of young people in Serbia believe they need a salary between 80,000 and 100,000 dinars for a decent living. 7.2% of people under the age of 30 earn this amount or a higher one. Slightly fewer young people, about 20 percent, are content with earnings between 50,000 and 80,000 dinars.
12.8 percent of respondents receive more than the minimum wage but less than 50,000 dinars, and only 1 percent believe this salary is enough for a decent living, according to the report.
11.9 percent of young people receive up to 30,000 dinars while according to data from the State Statistical Office, the average salary in Serbia in April 2022 was 73,012 dinars, although the median salary (meaning half of the workforce in Serbia receives this salary) amounted to 55,267 dinars in April.
The minimum wage in Serbia is currently slightly above 32,000 dinars, with a total of 350,000 employees receiving the minimum salary.
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