Since the fall of the Iron Curtain Albania grew from one of the poorest countries in Europe in the 1990s to an upper middle income country. As with regard to political integration the recent key step has been the European Commission’s recommendation in 2018 to open accession negotiations with EU.
Despite the growth trajectory, the country faces a number of challenges. The unemployment remains still relatively high (14%). The youth unemployment rate is worryingly high (26 %) and the high rate of youth not in education, employment nor training (30%) is a cause of concern. Active labour market policies have been introduced, but they still cover only 5.5% of the unemployed (2017). 42 of the workforce is employed in agriculture, mostly in low-skilled and low-productivity jobs, revealing the need for structural changes in the labour market. Continue reading
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