The official unemployment rate is 9.1 per cent. Serbia's economic recovery in the past few years has reduced the number of people leaving the country. Instead, they now look for jobs locally. Average net income is about 588 euros a month.
Shortcomings in public infrastructure are placing severe limitations on people's access to energy and water and on the disposal of waste and wastewater. This is also leading to a high level of pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, and high greenhouse gas emissions.
Inadequate protection of minorities
Poverty is most severe in rural areas and among socially deprived groups such as refugees and Roma communities. According to official statistics, at least two per cent of Serbia's population are Roma. They are subject to significant discrimination in all areas of life. A large proportion of the Roma population live in informal settlements without any basic services. Only around 20 per cent of them have permanent employment, and merely about twelve per cent of young people complete upper secondary school.