One of the most challenging labour markets in the region
Although the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been expanding steadily in the past few years, job creation has not kept up and the country shows one of the most challenging labour market situations in the region. Employment rates remain low (46% for age 15-64, 2019). Unemployment is high despite a downward trend in recent years (16% in 2020), especially among youth (34 % in 2019). The country has one of the lowest female employment rates in the Balkans (around 35%, age 15-64, 2019). The share of informal employment in total employment is relatively high (30%). The outward migration coupled with a rapidly aging population put a strain on the social security systems, challenging their sustainability over the long-term.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the labour market challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ILO’s and EBRD’s joint assessment shows that the decline in working hours caused by the pandemic during the third quarter of 2020 is equivalent to the loss of 170,000 full-time jobs. The losses of working hours are considerably higher than in other Western Balkan economies. The study identifies 14 sectors of the economy in which workers and enterprises are severely affected by the crisis. Over 245,000 jobs are at immediate risk as the health crisis persists.
ILO interventions in BiH
Currently, ILO supports Bosnia and Herzegovina in two areas:
- The development of quality online and blended learning in TVET as part of the Joint UN project Reimagining Education for Marginalised Girls and Boys during and post COVID-19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The development of a Strategic Plan for Skills Development in collaboration with Bit Alliance, by applying the Rapid STED methodology.