Favorable trends continued in the labor market

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A survey conducted among Serbian businessmen shows that the situation on the labor market is stable and that most expect growth or an unchanged level of turnover in services and goods.

This is confirmed by the report of the NBS, which points out that favorable trends have continued in the labor market.

The results of the SCC survey “Business activity of economic entities in the Republic of Serbia”, in which 1,571 companies evaluated their business in the fourth quarter of last year and set expectations for the first quarter of this year, show that businessmen are moderately optimistic about increasing exports in the first quarter 2022 and plan a larger volume of investments.

PKS states that, on the other hand, high prices of resources and demand on the domestic market represent challenges that most of the economy is facing at the beginning of this year.

It is added that most companies kept or even increased the number of employees in the fourth quarter of last year, and 92 percent of the surveyed companies do not expect a decrease in the number of employees in the first quarter of this year either.

It is pointed out that as many as 61 percent of companies expect higher or unchanged turnover at the beginning of 2022.

It is estimated that the fact that 78 percent of the respondents indicated that they have enough funds for optimal financing of business is encouraging, and when it comes to liquidity, tourism and catering, wood industry and communal activities face the biggest challenge.

The survey shows that last year, companies mostly used their own funds for business, as many as 80 percent of companies, and loans only 17 percent, while incentives from state institutions and local governments were used by 40 percent of companies.

More than a million and a half work for private companies

Furthermore, as the NBS shows, the average number of formally employed in the private sector in 2021 was 1.67 million, which is almost 100,000 more than in the pre-pandemic 2019.

The largest increase in employment is recorded in the sectors that are most important to us in terms of economic growth and development – in the manufacturing industry (34,000 people), then in construction (15,000), as well as private sector services such as ICT services, trade, transport, tourism and catering.

“At the same time, the average salary in Serbia increased by 18.5 percent in the previous two years, driven primarily by the growth of salaries in the private sector, which increased by 19.2 percent in the same period,” said Tabaković.

She pointed out that the preserved labor market in the conditions of the pandemic and further growth of employment and wages are the most important source of financing personal consumption, which we estimate will continue to grow on stable and healthy bases, contributing to economic growth but not excessive and generating higher inflationary pressures, Alo writes.

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