Press conference by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Arben Ahmetaj:
The Quarter Labour Force Survey released by the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) today affirmed that the employment rate has maintained its upward trend in the first quarter of 2018. So, the good news is that employment rates have grown in all sectors of the country’s economy, edging up by around 5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
It is very good news that the unemployment rate dropped to 12.5 percent, down 1.7 percentage points from same period last year. Thus, the country’s unemployment rate hit a historic low of 12.5 percent, the lowest rate over the years of Albania’s long transition. Albania has today the lowest unemployment rate since accurate statistics on unemployment fall was ever recorded.
Just like the recent World Bank report finds, Albania has the highest labour participation rate in the region. The labour participation rate grew to 59.2 percent, with the female participation in the labour force standing at 51.9 percent and men participation at 66.5 percent. I have made available a combined chart for the wide public to understand and show the lowest historic rate of unemployment over the past 27 years and the labour participation rate.
Albania also remains the country with the lowest youth unemployment rate and the annual figure keeps on falling. Of course, the public debate in the society and the parliament should focus on whether such a rate is satisfactory? Is this fall in employment rate enough? Is the new jobs number sufficient? Of course we are yet far from achieving what our ambition is, but it is important to hold on for a second and point out that Albania has now the lowest unemployment rate ever. The unemployment rate among the young people is falling and it stands currently at 24.5 percent, the region’s lowest.
The last thing I would like to draw attention on is the fact that more than 26 543 new jobs have been announced in the first five months of2018, in the January-May period, and more than 8 442 vacancies have been announced in May alone. The National Employment Service has provided job placement for 11088 people over the past five months, with 3 439 of them employed during May only.
At the same time, I would like to put emphasis on our fiscal policies, as we already made public our decisions to continue supporting the entrepreneurship and ensure sustainable growth that would eventually lead to higher employment rate.
The time when an almost virtual growth was not associated with employment increase is now over. The new economic model we together launched back in 2013 is working, bringing first and foremost economic growth and employment growth, economic growth and fall in unemployment, economic growth and increase in number of enterprises and increase in purchasing power.
Thank you and I believe we will share a lot more good news on economy in the coming months.