High Unemployment and Little Hope in Skenderaj, Kosovo

Residents Walk through Skenderaj's Main Square

Unemployment is a pressing problem throughout Kosovo, but nowhere is it more pronounced than in Skenderaj, located twenty miles northwest of Kosovo’s capital, Prishtina, and one of the country’s most impoverished municipalities, where the current unemployment rate stands at 67%.

As with the rest of Kosovo, youths aged 15–24 are more affected by unemployment than other age groups. Even those with university degrees find very few promising financial opportunities available to them in Skenderaj’s weak economy, which is primarily based on family-run agriculture. There are a handful of small factories, but they employ no more than a couple hundred employees.

I am currently studying at a university, but I cannot imagine being able to find a job in Skenderaj. I intend to look for a job somewhere else, just like all the other young people from here.
— Student, Albanian, Female, 19

Complaining of corruption and nepotism, many Skenderaj residents have already left the municipality in search of jobs in more developed parts of Kosovo, such as Pristina, or outside the country altogether, and this trend is likely to continue.