Macedonia: Half of Registered Jobless Persons Own High School Diploma

The unemployment rate in Macedonia further drops. Since the beginning of last year until today, the number of unemployed persons continues to decrease, daily Utrinski Vesnik reads.

According to the latest data published by the State Statistical Office, the unemployment rate in the first quarter of this year was 28.4%, which is 0.6% less than in 2013, and compared to 2012, the rate lowered by 2.6%. If compared with the first three months of 2013, the unemployment rate dropped by 1.5%. The statistics last year registered lowered unemployment rate in each quarter. Thus, the rate in the first three months was 29.9%, in the second – 28.8%, in the third - 28.7%, and in the last three months - 28.6%.

Out of the total active population of 958,392, the number of unemployed is 272,115. However, data on age and education structure are worrisome. Out of the total number of jobless people, most are aged 25 to 49, i.e. 166,531 persons or 26.5%. Regarding the education degree, most of the jobless, 131,712 persons, have a high school diploma, followed by those with a primary school diploma, 61,497 people.

Experts say the economic growth should consecutively exceed 3%, which is the average of our annual GDP, for the unemployment rate to really drop and continue to decrease constantly.

According to economist Slobodan Najdovski, statistics on the unemployment rate decrease should not be taken for granted as the figures are largely due to the fact that many young people have left the country. He says only real foreign investments, without government subsidies, can boost employment.

"With such development in the Macedonian economy, the annual level growth should be around 6% in a continuity of several years. Only such economy would create new jobs and the unemployment would decrease naturally. Otherwise, it is only bare statistics and a game of numbers," Najdovski says.

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