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The European Movement in Albania, EMA, a Tirana think-tank, says red tape and shrinking budgets are limiting the impact of government-run unemployment programs.
“The drop in budget funding [for programs that fight unemployment] has lowered the number of beneficiaries,” the EMA said in a new report.
“The presence of bureaucratic obstacles makes them unattractive to employers,” it added.
According to the study, the programs spearheaded by the Ministry of Labour are often not tailored to the needs of local employers, while local unemployment offices are not popular and their cooperation with business remains limited.
“Policies to fight unemployment should receive more attention and funding in the long term,” EMA researcher Blerta Hoxha said, presenting the study on Tuesday.
|Sales Executive at ITirana
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Data published by the Ministry of Labour show that unemployment in Albania stands currently at 13.32 per cent of a total workforce of nearly 1.1 million.
Unemployment rates among youth are above the national average, at 15.6 per cent for those aged 25 and under and at 22.5 per cent for 25-34-year-olds.
The budget allocated to unemployment programs was 0.016 per cent of GDP in 2009 and has been even lower in recent years.
EU member states spend eight times more on average, in terms of share of GDP, in unemployment programs.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.