Where did the growth of employees in Serbia after the crisis come from?

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On May 15th this year, 6,988 more citizens worked in Serbia than on February 27th this year.
This was announced to the public by the Minister of Labor, Zoran Djordjevic, two days ago, and confirmed to Danas by the Republic Bureau of Statistics.
According to the Central Registry, 2.19 million employees were registered in our country in mid-May, and the growth in the number of jobs after the crisis compared to the pre-crisis period exists only in the category of employees in legal entities, which in May was 14,896 more than in February.
According to the SBS, the total number of those who are employed has increased by 12,640, because the number of private entrepreneurs has decreased by 2,256 employees.
There are 4,314 fewer people working on the basis of employment contracts, and the number of registered farmers from February to May “melted” by 1,338.
In the crisis-stricken sector of accommodation and food services, the worst is when it comes to employment, in May this sector had 2,100 fewer people, 1,795 fewer in education, while the information and communication sector “profited” in which after the state of emergency was lifted there were 3,928 more employees than before the crisis.
More employees in May than at the end of February in our country were in the processing industry (2,922) and construction (2,552).
Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Zoran Djordjevic, said that unemployment in the first quarter of this year was 9.7 and that when compared to February 2020, the data from May shows that there were more employees, which he explained by the emergence of new professions and occupations awakened by the epidemic.
According to the data from the Labor Force Survey, in the first quarter of 2020, the number of employees was 2.87 million, and the number of unemployed was 310,300.
At the same time, the registered employment in the first quarter of this year was 2.18 million, of which 1.7 million were employed in legal entities, 374,306 were entrepreneurs and 68,885 were farmers.
The vice-president of the Independent Trade Union of Serbia, Dusko Vukovic, told Danas that according to the data from the middle of March that they received at the SES session, there were 15,000 fewer registered at that time.
That is why, as he says, he doubts the fact that employment is growing now after the crisis, especially if we have data on the decline in industrial production.
“As far as I am concerned, we can comment on the moment when all state institutions unify the data and tell us how many people really work. We are not talking here about the Labor Force Survey, according to which 800,000 more people work in Serbia than they really are. That Survey also counts those who worked for an hour.
“Employees are those who pay contributions and all taxes or to whom employers pay it,” Vukovic points out.
If, he notes, the criterion for calculating the number of employees would be only those who pay taxes and contributions, then the unemployment rate would not be 10, but 20 percent.
One of the sectors that did not suffer direct damage from the crisis, but in which more than a thousand people lost their jobs again, is agriculture.
The president of the National Association of Farmers of Serbia, Jovica Jaksic, says for our paper that they have a problem with the lack of workers because there are few who will work temporarily.
“We need workers, especially in farming, but we cannot offer them to work all year round when there is work in four or five months,” Jaksic points out.
He says that the state of emergency and the crisis did not affect the agricultural works so much because they had a permit to be on the plots, but that they are now worried about how the purchase of goods will go.
“We are afraid that a new crisis may occur, which could lead to a ban on exports, and the question is whether there will be money to pay,” Jaksic said.
According to the SBS, employment in Serbia in the first quarter decreased by 60,800 compared to the last months of last year, of which 51,400 were in the informal sector.
Employment was reduced in Southern and Eastern Serbia by 31,000, Vojvodina by 27,900, Sumadija and Western Serbia by 13,800, while only in Belgrade was the number of employees increased by 11,900.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on labor market developments in that period is negligible, and the only changes that, according to the SBS, could be partially related to that, but also to the seasonal impact, is the increase in the inactivity rate by one percent points, as well as a change in the employment structure, Danas reports.

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