Navigating Economic Turbulence:
The Impact on Youth in North Macedonia

CID team, North Macedonia

The global economic crisis has historically had far-reaching consequences, and its impact on the youth in North Macedonia has been profound and multifaceted. While the repercussions of economic downturns vary across different demographics, young individuals often bear a disproportionate burden, facing unique challenges that can significantly shape their future prospects and opportunities.

In North Macedonia, the economic challenges faced by the youth amid global crises are multifaceted and often pervasive. High rates of youth unemployment have been a persistent issue, exacerbated during economic downturns. The lack of job opportunities, coupled with increased competition for limited positions, has left many young individuals grappling with uncertainty about their career paths and financial stability.

The global economic crises have also affected educational opportunities for the youth in North Macedonia. Financial constraints often force families to prioritize expenses, potentially leading to reduced access to quality education or decreased enrollment rates in higher education institutions. This limitation in educational access can hinder the skill development and career advancement of young people, impacting their long-term prospects in the job market.

Moreover, economic instability can disrupt the transition from education to employment for many young Macedonians. Graduates entering the job market during economic crises often face challenges securing entry-level positions or opportunities for career growth, leading to prolonged periods of underemployment or insecure job situations.

Entrepreneurship, which is often seen as a potential avenue for youth employment and economic growth, can also be adversely affected during times of economic uncertainty. Limited access to funding, reduced consumer spending, and a volatile market environment can deter young entrepreneurs from starting businesses or expanding existing ventures.

The mental health and overall well-being of young individuals can also suffer due to economic hardships. Financial stress, job insecurity, and the uncertainty of the future can contribute to increased anxiety, depression, and a sense of hopelessness among the youth.

However, despite the challenges, the youth in North Macedonia have shown resilience, innovation, and adaptability in navigating through economic crises. Initiatives focusing on skill-building, vocational training, and entrepreneurship support can play a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of economic downturns on the youth.

Government interventions, policies promoting job creation, investment in education and vocational training, as well as fostering an environment conducive to entrepreneurship, are essential in providing young individuals with opportunities for growth and development even in times of economic uncertainty.

Civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private sector partnerships can also contribute significantly by offering mentorship programs, internships, and initiatives aimed at enhancing the employability of young people.

In conclusion, the impact of global economic crises on the youth in North Macedonia is profound and multifaceted, affecting employment opportunities, education, mental health, and overall well-being. However, proactive measures, collaborative efforts, and targeted interventions focused on empowering and supporting young individuals can mitigate the adverse effects and pave the way for a more resilient, skilled, and adaptable generation capable of navigating through challenging economic times.