According to data from the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (in cooperation with the World Bank), Kosovo has a working age group of 1,176,147 persons, approximately two thirds of Kosovo’s population. Of those, 37.6 percent (442,716 persons) are economically active, indicating that these persons are either employed or registered as seeking employment.
Out of the Kosovo labour force of 442,716 persons, 296,940 or 67.07 percent are employed. Some 145,776 or 32.93 percent are unemployed. The employment-to-population ratio is 28.4 percent.
Even though the unemployment ratio in Kosovo remains high, the figures do show there is a clear potential of growth on the Kosovo labour market. The government has commissioned itself to reduce unemployment levels and to improve the competitive labour market.
Kosovo has a relative youthful work force that is generally well educated, with 55.8 percent having completed secondary school and 24.7 percent having completed their education to tertiary level.
Nevertheless, wages in the country are significantly lower compared to wages in Western Europe. The average monthly net wage paid per employee is estimated at 330 EURO. The wages are unburdened by social contributions: the only mandatory contributions on total gross wages are those for individual pension savings, of which 5 percent is financed by the employer, and 5 percent by the employee. This makes Kosovo’s labour force one of the most competitive in the region.
The Kosovo labour law offers flexible and diverse working contracts. Working times are also flexible, with a maximum of six working days and no major restrictions on night work or holidays. According to the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report for 2014, Kosovo stands out with no difficulties for hiring employees and low redundancy costs.
Collective agreements provide minimal conditions of safety at work, besides the rights and obligations for both employers and employees provided for by law.
Foreign persons, who want to work in Kosovo for more than three months, must apply for a work permit, which is issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Together with the application of a work permit, the employer should also submit a copy of a residence permit, issued by the Kosovo authorities.