About the ILO in Kosovo*

Limited job opportunities, especially for youth

After a 5.3% contraction of GDP in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy recovered quickly in 2021 with an estimated growth of 7.7%. Solid data on the labour market impact of the pandemic are not available. The ILO expects that the pandemic has made the labour market challenges of Kosovo from before the pandemic even more urgent. These challenges are high rates of unemployment (26 per cent in Q4 2021), particularly for women and youth (youth unemployment almost at 50% in 2020), elevated rates of inactivity (above 60% in 2020), and informal employment (estimates range between 20 and 30%).

The ILO has been active in Kosovo since 1999 with a focus on developing vocational training; reforming the network of employment offices; promoting youth employment; combatting child labour; and enhancing social dialogue.

Currently, the ILO contributes to:
  • Developing effective employment and social policies with a focus on youth employment.
  • Strengthening labour inspection and occupational safety and health as well as social dialogue.
  • Reducing informal employment and undeclared work.
  • Elimination of child labour in all its forms, in particular the worst forms of child labour, and forced labour.
The ILO is a member of the United Nations Kosovo Team (UNKT). It contributed to the drafting of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-2025 and supports the UNKT framework for the socio-economic response to Covid-19.

* All references to Kosovo should be understood in the context of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

Text last updated 2/22.