Lithuania - Plea for import of labour - October 31, 2016

The state-run social insurance fund Sodra warns that if several thousand more people enter the labour market than leave it in 2017 and 2018, the total number of the insured will remain unchanged and the labour market will come close to its bottom. The fund predicts negative employment growth as soon as in 2019, due primarily to negative demographic trends. An economist came with a similar message and said that the country must think about a coordinated import of labour from abroad. This could be done via the education system, for example, by inviting young Ukrainians or Belarusians to study and then stay to work. According to the International Monetary Fund, losing workers to other countries has already cost 21 central and eastern Europe nations an average of about 7 percentage points of gross domestic product. The IMF predicts a hit of as much as 9 percentage points over the next 14 years should current trends continue.

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