The labor market situation remains the economy’s Achilles’ heel. The Labour Force Survey for 2014 has shown an increase in the unemployment rate from 30 to 35% of the labor force, reflecting the combined effects from (i) the economic deceleration in 2014 (which, in turn, had been caused by the post-accident bottlenecks in energy generations, increased energy imports, and the general hesitation among private companies and potential investors during the protracted politico-constitutional crisis); and (ii) the return of previously discouraged workers to the labor market, albeit initially as jobseekers.
These developments are reflected in the recently published data that point to the decline by 15,000 persons gainfully employed and the increase in the size of the labor force by 17,000 persons. Defying the general trend, net employment rose in public administration, wholesale/retail trade, household enterprises, and manufacturing. While job losses were larger for men than they were for women, the unemployment rate for women has remained significantly higher than for men.
In general, Kosovo remains a country with an exceptionally high rate among 15-to-64-year-olds who are neither employed nor looking for work—notwithstanding the fact that the percentage of youth not in employment, education, or training has decreased from 35 to 30%.