Workforce: Serious crisis awaits Serbia in the future

Come 2027, Serbia is going to experience a severe workforce crisis where there won’t be enough workers to support economic growth – economy expert Dr Ivan Nikolic claims.

“After 2040, Serbia could be between 80,000 and 100,000 workers short, while Croatia is already “importing” them” – Nikolic, who is also editor of the Macroeconomic Analyses and Trends Bulletin, says.

What is distant future for Serbia has already started in Croatia. According to the Zagreb-based daily, Vecernji List, Croatia has 26,000 job vacancies. The worker profiles that are most in demand are cooks, sales personnel, cleaners, assistant chefs and kitchen workers, drivers, economists, bricklayers and nurses.

According to Nikolic’s calculation, the unemployment rate in 2020 will drop to 11.5%, and in 2027, to below 6% as a result of economic migration, low birth rate, a slight increase in the number of employees, and targeted economic growth of 4%.

Expressed in numbers this means that the last year’s number of employees of 489,400 will drop to 369,200 by 2025, and to below 100,000 by 2033. “However, come 2027, we are going to enter a severe crisis caused by the deficit of workers”, Nikolic points out.

It has been estimated that in the last seven to eight years, close to 20,000 metal processing workers left Croatia to find employment in Italy, Germany, Austria and Scandinavian countries. “If they came back, all of them would be able to find jobs at home”, Vecernji List writes.

According to Director of the Croatian Employer Association, Admira Ribicic, the problem with the workforce leaving the country is partly due to salaries, and she cites the ICT industry in Croatia as an example which is in deficit of thousands of employees.

(Politika, 02.04.2017)

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