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UNEMPLOYMENT AS A SOCIAL COST OF TRANSITION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: Applicability for the Republic of Macedonia
Junior Teaching Assistant, Institute of Social Work and Social Policy, SS. Cyril & Methodious University, Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje, Macedonia
Ron Brown Alumni at the Global Affairs Institute, Department of Public Administration - Executive Education Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA
Starting in the 1980s, and especially after the beginning of the 1990s when the socialist system collapsed, unemployment has been perceived as a growing economic and social problem, and has been a dominant theme on the policy agenda of many Central and Eastern Europeans countries. This paper discusses unemployment in those countries and elaborates policies undertaken to address the issue. First, it provides an overview of the transition countries, analyzing the main factors that affect the process of transition. Second, it addresses the issues of passive and active labor market policies. Next, the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses is discussed. Finally, the case of the Republic of Macedonia is elaborated and several recommendations are advanced as possible alternatives for future policy formulations in the country.
1. Unemployment in Central and Eastern European transition countries
Sources: UN/DESIPA, based on International Labor Office (ILO) and ECE data as presented in the Report on the World Social Situation 1997, p. 126. *OECD Economic Outlook, various issues; OECD, Short-Term Economic Indicators: Central and Eastern Europe, various issues; Eurostat, Unemployment, various issues; Statistika rocenka CSFR, 1992, p. 208; Statisticke prehledy CSFR, various issues; Biuletyn statystycczny, Warsaw, various issues; EIU, Country Reports, various issues, as presented by Porket, 1995, p. 99. **Europe, Budapest conference papers and ILO, 1995, as presented by Godfrey and Richards, 1997, p. 5.
aAnnual average; bPercentage of working age population. Table 1.2 Features of unemployment, selected transition economies, 1995
Sources: OECD-CCET: Labor market database, No. 2, 1995; Short-Term Economic Indicators, No. 1, 1996, as presented in table 4.2 in World Employment, 1996/97, p. 113.
11993; 21994; a % male labor force (LF); b % female LF; c under age 25; d % LF with higher education; e % LF with secondary education; f % LF with primary education;
g % total unemployment; h % youth unemployment; i % older unemployment; NA indicates data not available.
Middle-aged and older workers who are victims of the break-up of oversized companies and the decline in industrial production are particularly vulnerable to long-term unemployment (Ibid., p. 130). This explains the need for immediate economic measures to secure economic recovery of these countries, as well as to build new market institutions, and design and implement labor market policies appropriate to the specific situation of each Central and Eastern European country.
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