Serbia may have a shortage of 80,000 to 100,000 workers after 2040, with fewer people of working age and due to emigration and reduced population growth.

Economist Ivan Nikolic said this during the presentation of the latest issue of the Macroeconomic Analysis and Trends (MAT) publication, Beta is reporting.

The presentation also heard that in 2025, the number of unemployed will drop to 369,200 people from last year’s 489,400, while in 2033 this figure will fall below 100,000.
“The unemployment rate will in 2020 drop to 11.5 percent, and will be under six percent in 2027,” Nikolic said.

He pointed out that a dynamic economic growth, among other things, depends on the quantity and quality of the workforce, and its educational and age structure.

“The fertility rate in Serbia in 2015 amounted to 1.46 and was lower than in 2001 when it was 1.58. This rate is not sufficient to stop depopulation,” said Nikolic.

He added that unfavorable demographic tendencies cannot be fought with demographics weapons but that instead solutions should now be sought in improving education and adjusting it to the needs of the labor market, shortening the length of studies, promoting early employment, and “moving” the retirement age.

Germany is aware of its depopulation problem, and that is why it is accepting migrants – “though they may not be what Germany wants, but there is no alternative,” Nikolic said.

Director of the Republic Statistical Office Miladin Kovacevic said that the world’s population is growing, and that it will be “redistributed.”

“In history, there have been migrations of people. Some countries already have in mind the lack of labor and allow a controlled entry of immigrants. The market laws are working and borders are impossible to shut down completely,” said Kovacevic.