Negative demographic Trends will force BiH to open up to foreign Labor Force

The devastating demographic trends are so severe that, unless something drastically changes, the government will have to ”open the door” for the foreign labor force. This was said by Zlatko Hurtic, advisor to the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH).

He stated that FBiH is recording a rising trend of negative population growth rate and that the reasons are numerous. In the past two years, the pandemic has become one of the leading causes.

“Negative population growth rates are recorded in all cantons, and they were marked even in the cities with the highest wages, which suggests that the economic situation is not the dominant cause of this extremely negative trend for the FBiH economy. The stability of the FBiH Budget depends on the stability of pension payments, which depends on the preservation of jobs and wage growth, as well as health funds. Lack of labor, which employers are already complaining about, will causeuncontrolled wage growth, and thus rising inflation with all the dangers it poses to citizens’ savings and the stability of the domestic currency,” he told.

Also, he added, given that the growing trend of negative population growth is increasingly reminiscent of a phenomenon that is present throughout Europe, it is necessary that all levels of government in FBiH contribute to its suppression, starting with the more generous funding of support programs for large families.

“But, it is particularly worrying that a large number of those registered at employment bureaus, although registered as unemployed, are not looking for work at all, and they apply to bureaus to get health insurance, as well as some other rights based on unemployment,” he noted.

This is not surprising if we take into account the conclusions of several World Bank studies, which found that BiH has higher allocations per capita for social transfers than most countries in our region, he added.

“However, if the situation regarding population growth continues to worsen, what seems impossible to some now will become a reality, and that is that FBiH, as well as the whole of BiH, by following the example of many European countries, will be forced to open the labor market to ‘foreign workers’ so preparations for that purpose should already start, ” he emphasized.

To recall, during 2020, there was no canton in the FBiH with a positive natural increase. On average, for every birth in FBiH, 1.51 people died.

The worst situation was in Posavina Canton (4.47 deaths), while the least bad situation was in Sarajevo Canton (1.25), writes.


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