The unemployment rate in Albania registered another drop in the fourth quarter of 2017, falling to 13.4 percent from 13.6 percent in the prior-year period, Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) said on Monday.
According to INSTAT report, the employment rate among people aged 15 to 64 edged up to 58.2 percent in the October-December period, from 57.7 percent a year earlier.
In Albania's population of 2.87 million, unemployment rate among men was 13.7 percent in the end of 2017, while among women it was 12.9 percent, INSTAT said.
During the fourth quarter, unemployment rate among people aged between 15-29 years dropped to 24.6 percent from 26 percent a year earlier.
In the last five years, Albania has maintained a downward trend of unemployment rate.
According to the World Bank, labor markets in the Western Balkan countries—comprising Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia—are characterized by low employment rates and high unemployment by European standards.
Western Balkan countries increased employment by roughly 300,000 jobs since 2010, from an estimated 5.5 million in 2010 to 5.8 million in 2016. However, the World Bank and the European Union claim that this rate of job creation is not enough to address the many challenges in the Western Balkan labor markets.
The source also reportedly noted that even though unemployment has declined during this period by an estimated 200,000 people, from 23 to 21 percent, but inactivity remains high, especially among women, the low-educated, and youth. In addition, informal employment and long-term unemployment remain a significant challenge in the region.