Tirana, Albania | Aug 23 (Tirana Echo) – 36% of Albania’s active workforce does not pay social security and is at risk of missing out on retirement benefits.
According to the latest numbers published by Albania’s statistical body INSTAT, only 64% of the 1.1m workforce is included in the national social security scheme, with more than a quarter totally missing out.
The uninsured are predominantly self-employed or work in black and are voluntarily not participating in the national insurance scheme. They come mainly from family owned businesses or the agricultural sector, where self-declaration of earnings and contributions are often ignored.
Out of nearly 400,000 people working in the agricultural sector, only 58,000 paid social security during the last year, making Albania’s population one of the most uninsured in Europe.
Public sector still represents the biggest employer in the small Balkan country, which has struggled to attract significant foreign investments. Women are less advantaged than men when it comes to employment and social contributions, while youth unemployment officially stands at 24%, although it could be much higher.
As a result, young people are massively seeking to leave the country for better opportunities elsewhere in Europe.
According to a recent study by the Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA), 70% of Albanian youth seek to leave their country because they cannot find a decent job in the small Balkan country.
Albania’s legal system makes it an obligation for anyone who is self-employed to declare their financial reports to the local tax authority, however a large number of the population is involved in massive tax evasion.
The government has vowed to crack down on illegal or black employment, with little results in sight.
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