The number of registered unemployed people fell by 1.1% m/m and 6.9% y/y to 684,820 in September, according to a report of the National Employment Service (NSZ). The number of newly registered jobless people also fell in annual terms by 2.8% to 37,257. In m/m terms however their number increased by 15.2% after declining by 1.6% m/m in August. Out of the total number of unemployed, 68.6% were without a job for more than a year and their number fell by 0.7% m/m. The number of unemployed youths declined as well by 0.7% m/m. The number of vacancies dropped by 24.9% y/y in September, easing from 39.7% y/y decline in August.
PM Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday that his government will aim to bring down unemployment rate to below 12% by the end of its term in 2020. The survey-based unemployment rate fell to 15.2% in Q2 from 19.0% the quarter before, according to LFS data by the Serbian statistical office. The number of jobless people continues to decline and the trend was preserved during the summer owing as well to seasonal jobs. Downside risks to the labor market still persist and they are associated with the ongoing rightsizing of the public administration (although job cuts will be less than initially thought) and restructuring of major public companies. On the positive side, the private sector is offsetting job cuts in the administration for now as the economy is growing faster than anticipated and investments are expected to continue thanks to the implemented reforms to improve the business environment.