On average, 119.500 employees had a pay rise of MKD 3.500 in January, as a result of a wage subsidies measure for which the 2020 budget has allocated MKD 2.4 billion, Finance Minister Nina Angelovska said in an interview with bankarstvo.mk.
Angelovska noted that the purpose of this measure is to help companies retain quality staff, pointing out that the private sector is the one that must drive economic growth. Therefore, she said, measures and long-term policies on increasing productivity are being implemented to boost its competitiveness.
In sum, Angelovska said, the 2020 budget provides MKD 6.7 billion to directly support the private sector.
“The budget provides funds through measures on boosting competitiveness, in the amount of MKD 3 billion, to support companies in replacing old technology with new, investing in new capacities, stimulating export, entrepreneurship, etc. In addition, it’s very important to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the labor market,” Angelovska said, adding that measures taken so far deliver results, which is confirmed by the lowest unemployment rate so far, standing at 17.1%, while 60.000 new jobs have been opened.
She said that over the past two years, economic growth has been broad-based, i.e. based on the growth of all sectors, whereas before it was mainly driven by public investment in construction.
“To promote sustainable growth and economic development, it is the private sector that must drive growth and create new value. What does the private sector need? – It needs productive workforce, new technology and support for investment and conquering new markets. This is precisely the focus of the fiscal policy,” Angelovska said.
She notes that economic growth depends on people’s productivity, a fact that has long been ignored, as can be seen from the World Bank’s human capital index for North Macedonia which is standing at 0,53. Therefore, Angelovska said, the 2020 budget is focused on investments in human capital.