The impact of the pandemic on the labor market in the Western Balkans

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Muhamet Binaku ORCID logo, Sedat Ismajli ORCID logo

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This paper aims to research the impact of COVID-19 on the labor markets in the Western Balkans to close a gap in the literature (Bartlett & Oruc, 2021). This research focuses on available data and analysis with the overall goal of providing a comprehensive picture as well as identifying potential gaps in knowledge. Results of the analysis show that the pandemic has directly affected the labor market in almost all countries of the world. In the Western Balkans, more so than in other developed countries, the restriction of movement has caused a drastic drop in business activities (Bartlett, 2021). To that end, a considerable number of businesses closed down, and a large part of citizens suddenly became unemployed. The results of this analysis reveal that the number of workers in the informal economy has increased. In addition, wage-cutting practices reported during the pandemic are likely to continue even further. Based on these circumstances, the states of the Western Balkans were forced to take the necessary legislative measures, or other measures, to provide or organize in the appropriate scope to overcome the emergency crisis.

Keywords: Pandemic, Labor Market, Unemployment, Overcoming the Pandemic

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — M.B. and S.I.; Methodology — M.B.; Formal Analysis — M.B.; Investigation — M.B. and S.I.; Data Curation — M.B. and S.I.; Writing — Original Draft — M.B. and S.I.; Writing — Review & Editing — M.B.; Visualization — M.B.; Supervision — M.B.; Project Administration — M.B. and S.I.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: J01, J08, J30

Received: 29.11.2022
Accepted: 08.09.2023
Published online: 11.09.2023

How to cite this paper: Ismajli, S., & Binaku, M. (2023). The impact of the pandemic on the labor market in the Western Balkans [Special issue]. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 12(3), 295–301.