Romans and Albania, low costs only fit those who relocate: the workers emigrate and the factory lacks labor

The new migration flows are slowing down the footwear and upholstery industries in Albania and Romania. In Tirana and the neighbouring provinces the shoe and clothing industry currently employs around 100,000 people, but the number is falling and entrepreneurs are also starting to report the difficulty in finding labor. In the last five years the country has indeed experienced a new wave of migration according to the most recent report of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). AlbaniaNews reports that labor costs are 10 times lower than the EU average. According to data published by Eurostat, Albanian workers had a minimum monthly salary of 210 euros in 2018, the lowest in Europe. In the Balkan area the averages are 282 euros in Macedonia, 288 in Montenegro and 308 in Serbia. Wages that are too low, if on the one hand have attracted manufacturing companies (which work for the Italian market too), on the other hand are inducing young Albanians to seek their fortune elsewhere.

In Bucarest too

Romania is also experiencing similar dynamics, where the number of employees employed in the furniture industry has fallen by 2% between 2016 and 2017 and by a further 3% in the first 5 months of 2018. In the Balkan country the worker of a furniture factory earns about 1.800 Lei per month, just a little over 380 euros, while the average salary is 2.700 Lei, about 580 euros. This is why many employees, while major companies such as Polipol, Natuzzi, Parisot and Rom, opened their offices in the country, have preferred to emigrate. The first repercussion is that many local businesses, as highlighted by the Association of Romanian Furniture Manufacturers (AMPR), have failed to achieve their planned development.




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