Stavreski: Unemployment expected to drop to 22% in three years

Despite the political situation the country faces, declining trend of unemployment continues each quarter.

This is favourable and I believe it will continue in future as well, whereby our target is to reach 22% unemployment for a period of three to three and a half years, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said in an interview for MRT.

Most recent data from the State Statistical Office show unemployment reduction. It accounts for 27.3% now. What are your comments about the most recent data from the State Statistical Office?

Unemployment reduction trend is certainly favourable. The latest data as of the end of March show that this sound trend of unemployment reduction continues each quarter, in conditions when reverse trends are observed in Europe. Number of employed persons increases at the same time. Hence, there are 1,000 less unemployed persons in the last year and around 11,000 persons who got employed in the meantime. It is a favourable data for a year in which elections were held in the second quarter, as well as considering the political instability in the first quarter of this year. Such trends show that the private sector manages to create jobs. This is favourable and I believe it will continue in future as well, whereby our target is to reach 22% unemployment.

When do you expect this to happen?

I expect it to happen in the coming three to three and a half years.

Have the government measures and the new investments contributed to unemployment reduction and to what extent?

Of course, unemployment does not drop accidentally. It is a result of the policies of the Government, which are basically aimed at two objectives. The first one is to create good business climate and to preserve it through low taxes that attract foreign investors, while the domestic investors are provided possibility to expand their activity and to create jobs. More than 13,000 jobs are created in the free zones and ten or so thousand jobs are created in the domestic companies. On the other hand, active policies the Government implements, as a second segment in resolving the unemployment issues, are very important, than there are the large number of projects implemented in the course of the previous years, above all the self-employment project, the new “Macedonian Employs” Project, as well as many other the Employment Agency implements, to the end of improving the conditions at the targeted groups for their engagement in the production process. More than 1,600 persons were engaged under the “Macedonia Employs” Project alone in less than a month, in conditions when the private sector is still experiencing a kind of constrain as a result of the current political situation. I believe we will reach the target of 20,000 employments with this Project, as well as that we will manage to realize this target through other projects and active measures, as well as with the jobs to be, on the other hand, created through the economic growth and the engagement of the workers in both the domestic and the foreign companies.