Unique methodology for improved labor market research in BiH

The labor market in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been facing great challenges in recent years. After a period of high unemployment, the economy has recovered and the number of unemployed has decreased, which occurred in parallel with the increased departure of labor abroad. The recovery period was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly negative consequences for the economy, including rising unemployment.

In order for public employment services to be able to adequately respond to the challenges on the labor market, it is necessary for them to have adequate data on the state of the economy, i.e. to continuously work on the development of their analytical capacities. In this context, in September last year, the implementation of the project “Improving Labor Market Research” funded by the European Union in the amount of 1.28 MEUR has started and will be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the next two years. The beneficiaries of the project are public employment services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

One of the first activities of this project is related to the research of the needs of employers, which is carried out from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of January this year. Within this research, a unique data collection methodology will be applied, which will result with a report on the needs of employers. On that basis, public employment services will design their services for employers during the next year. The report should find its wider application in the education sector, among secondary school graduates and job seekers.

The project will, among other activities, provide support to the beneficiary institutions in improving active employment measures, improving cooperation with employers, developing employment strategies, and will especially help during the process of strategic planning and development of the employment framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina which is part of the European Commission’s Opinion on BiH’s application for membership in the European Union, but also a precondition for planning for future EU financial support to the labor and employment sector in BiH.