Hard to Enter: Young in SEE Labour Markets


Vladimir Gligorov and Hermine Vidovic

wiiw Background Study No. 2013-10, October 2013

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The background note is in two parts. We first review the evidence of persistently low employment and especially youth employment rates in Southeast Europe. Those cut across various characteristics of the young: gender, skills, occupation with worse outcomes for younger, female, unskilled, and less specialised occupations. We compare the SEE countries with some neighbours, with the Southern EU countries, and with Austria and the EU average to highlight both the persistence of bad labour market performance and the negative effect of the crisis. In the second part, we look into the macroeconomic reasons for bad employment record in this region and find that growth or rather decline of GDP has very strong effect on youth employment as has fiscal austerity. Those suggest policy interventions to secure macroeconomic stability, incentives for investment, and active labour market policies to support skill acquisition and the process of search for job.