Trends and Challenges of Female Unemployment in the Republic of Macedonia: A Regional Comparative Study
The Republic of Macedonia has since its independence made great progress in terms of economic reform and social development; prompted often by the county’s aspiration to become part of the European Union. However, in spite of these advances, weak labour market indicators in particular among females remains a great concern and a persisting challenge for the country. Based on official data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the State Statistical Office (SSO) for the case of the Republic of Macedonia, the aim of this study is to examine the development of female unemployment in the past decade (2004-2013) in the Republic of Macedonia from a multi-dimensional perspective. This while comparing national trends with other Balkan countries already in the EU using LFS data provided by Eurostat. Findings show that the female unemployment rate in the R. Macedonia is moving in the right direction with a decreasing trend throughout the observed period with drop of 8.8 percent point from 2004 to 2013 (observed at 29% in 2013). Compared to Balkan countries in the EU, findings show that the R. Macedonia has been performing relatively better than these countries, who have all experienced negative fluctuations in female unemployment rates in the observed period with rates at higher levels compared to 2004. Furthermore, the findings show no evidence of inequality between male and female unemployment rates in the country, however notable disparities are evident when observing unemployment among various age groups and the level of education attainment. The paper concludes with clear policy recommendations for boosting female employment to include increasing female access to education and entrepreneurial programs, increased access to childcare, etc. Keywords: Labour market, female unemployment; unemployment, employment.
International Burch University