Youth unemployment hits record high, some 103,000 reported jobless

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 12, 2015 10:01

Story Highlights

  • Some 10 percent of the economically inactive youth, around 39,000, are classified as discouraged workers, meaning they have given up searching for a job, says INSTAT

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TIRANA, June 10 – Youth unemployment hit a historic high of 34 percent in the first quarter of 2015 when state statistical institute, INSTAT, reported more than 103,000 jobless people aged between 15 to 29, according to a labor force survey published by INSTAT.

Compared to the final quarter of 2014, youth unemployment has climbed by 0.2 percent and is 3.9 percent higher compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, in terms of concrete figures, an additional 22,200 people aged between 15 to 29 find themselves jobless compared to the first quarter of 2014 when only around 81,000 youngsters were reported jobless.

Some 10 percent of the economically inactive youth, around 39,000, are classified as discouraged workers, meaning they have given up searching for a job, says INSTAT.

With youth unemployment at around 33 percent, the booming call center business and the traditional garment and footwear manufacturing are emerging as two of the key employers for Albanian young men and women aged from 15 to 29.

While the call center business dominated by Italian companies mainly attracts university students and newly graduates who are unable to find a job in the occupation they have graduated in, the façon industry, a traditional employer producing garment and footwear mainly for export, is attracting a considerable number of youngsters who have finished only the compulsory education or secondary education but failed to attend university.

With Albania’s average population age at 31, one of the youngest in Europe along with Kosovo, youth unemployment has become a top concern although most young men and women nowadays manage to get a university degree, unveiling the inefficiency of the education system but also crisis impacts as the private sector has almost frozen new hirings.

“Young people face a number of challenges when it comes to seeking gainful employment, such as a lack of skills and education to respond to the market needs. These challenges are compounded for youth with disabilities, who have even more limited access to higher education,” says the UNDP which is assisting the Albanian government improve youth employment opportunities in the northern Lezha, Kukes, and Shkodra regions, where the rates are currently highest.

With university degrees not matching market needs, the Albanian government is promoting vocational education training whose students stand better chances to find a job.

Albania’s unemployment rate slightly dropped to 17.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after hitting a record high of 18 percent at the end of 2014.

Unemployment rate for people who have completed only secondary education was at 23 percent, compared to 18.6 percent for those holding a university degree, 13.3 percent for those who have completed secondary vocational education training and 14.5 percent for those who have only finished compulsory education.

INSTAT data show some 140,000 Albanians had registered themselves as jobless with regional employment offices at the end of the final quarter of 2014, accounting for a registered jobless rate of 13 percent, down from 13.4 percent at the end of 2013.

INSTAT says 41.1 percent of employees at the end of the first quarter of 2015 were employed in the agriculture sector, compared to 22.6 percent in market services, 18 percent in public services, 9.3 percent in the processing industry and 9 percent in the long-ailing construction sector.

The minimum wage in the final quarter of 2014 remained unchanged at 22,000 (Euro 154).

Some 70,857 households benefited modest social assistance of around 4,000 lek (€28) a month at the end of 2014, compared to 82,554 at the end of 2013.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 12, 2015 10:01