The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) conducted an analysis of the inactivity of the population on the labour market in the Republic of Serbia. The study used data from the Labour Force Survey, as well as other relevant data sources, such as the official statistical website Eurostat and the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.
The analysis presents a brief overview of the characteristics and trends of population inactivity in the Republic of Serbia, primarily the inactivity rate through time, as well as in comparison with other countries, followed by differences in inactivity among age groups, sex, region, type of settlement, etc. A particularly interesting part of the analysis covers an overview of inactivity among populations with different education levels, as well as differences in their income, i.e. by whether they are ready and willing to engage in work or not. Furthermore, the analysis provides an overview of the socio-economic status of the population of Serbia, as well as other countries covered by the analysis, providing an insight into the differences in the at risk of poverty rates, at risk of poverty or social exclusion, as well as material deprivation among employed persons, unemployed persons, pensioners and inactive persons. The EU-SILC2019 Survey (Survey on Income and Living Conditions) was used for these purposes.
The analysis pays particular attention to the proportion of those inactive called potential workforce, comprised of persons ready to join the labour market under the right conditions. This segment of the population is viewed as important labour potential for a country. According to the definition by the International Labour Organisation, the potential workforce consists of two different groups:
- Persons actively seeking work, but unable to start working within two weeks;
- Persons able to start working immediately, but not actively seeking a job.
The disaggregation of the potential workforce in Serbia answers the question whether the difficulties of the inactive are tied primarily for jobseeking, readiness for work, or possibly both of these aspects. Regardless of the period of time, the domination of persons ready to work but not seeking a job is clear compared to persons seeking a job, but not ready to start within the next two weeks.
In addition to the potential workforce, it is necessary to consider another important aspect of the labour market regarding its potential. This is the so-called labour market slack, gaining importance particularly during the year of the pandemic crisis. Labour market slack is likely the most comprehensive method for measuring the unused available labour potential of a country. Operationally, labour market slack represents the sum of the unemployed, employed working less than full time but wishing to work more, and potential workforce. To be comparable by country and through time, the above sum is related with the expanded labour force that covers all employed persons, unemployed persons, and potential workforce aged 15-74.
More information on the above and many other topics covered by the study, along with the relevant charts and detailed tables can be found in the analysis “Inactivity in the Labour Market in the Republic of Serbia” (.pdf).