Rural Labour Market Developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The significant changes in the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of human resources in rural Macedonia can be explained by the continued trend of emigration from villages to urban areas and abroad. The intensity of emigration has altered the demographic structure and reproductive base of the rural population, along with the income of rural households. The rural and agricultural labour market faces a mismatch with respect to the unfavourable age, education and spatial distribution of the total labour force. A reduction in the participation of women in the agricultural labour force is a new feature. The overall transformation is apparent in the income structure of rural households. An increase in the share of households with mixed income sources notably stems from households that receive remittances and foreign currency funds from family members abroad. The demographic revitalisation of rural areas depends on economic revitalisation, with a more rational use of the labour force and human resources, as well as a restructuring of agricultural production and agricultural holdings. In addition, improvements are necessary in the functioning of market institutions to better meet the needs of smaller farmers and the rural economy.
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