According to the data from the State Statistical Office (RZS), in the third quarter of 2021, Serbia had 2,924,500 employees.
The largest growth in the number of formally employed people was recorded in construction (25,400), as well as in undocumented employment, with the number of undocumented construction workers (15,300) occupying the second place on the list of the industries with the highest number of such workers.
Data from the credit rating company CompanyWall show a total of 44,618 companies currently active in the construction industry. Of that number, 3,741 companies were opened since the beginning of the year, while 2,064 companies were closed in the same period. Also, there are 1,623 inactive construction companies.
Despite all the data that seem optimistic, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Serbia (SSSS) warned that the domestic construction industry is in a bad situation and that it is necessary to fix many problems.
“There is no branch collective agreement, a large number of workers work illegally, wages are lower than average, health and protection measures are inadequate, so injuries happen almost on a daily basis, and the number of people killed at work is, unfortunately, increasing year on year. All this is a strong signal that a lot of things have to change in the sector”, said the president of the SSSS, Ljubisav Orbović.
“As for construction, there really is a huge workforce shortage in Serbia, especially for the low-skilled positions (masons, rebar workers, welders, crane operators). There is a large outflow of working-age population experts in this field. For decades, they have leaving for abroad for better salaries and working conditions, and here the demand for such workers is growing rapidly, while the number of available construction workers is decreasing year on year. Even the salaries in this sector have grown over the years, in order to retain existing workers and attract new ones,” explains Miloš Turinski of the Poslovi Infostud PR website for Biznis.rs.
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