Youth underemployment is a problem in the Western Balkans. According to the ILO, underemployment rates are two to eight times higher among youth than those of the overall working-age population. If a broader definition of youth underemployment is considered, up to two thirds of youth are affected. However, the issue is largely ignored by the general populations and policymakers. A team of local researchers investigated the effect of youth underemployment on wages in three Western Balkan countries: Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Their results indicate that underemployment intensity lowers wages, women are more affected by underemployment than men, underemployment differs between labor market sectors, and higher levels of education are linked to higher levels of underemployment.
Find out more about the research methods, findings and policy recommendations in the following PEP publications: