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Productive Employment and Working Conditions as Determinants of Sustainable Economic Development in Serbia

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For decades, the concept of sustainability has been recognized as the basis for survival and further development of humanity. As the result of joint efforts, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015 by United Nations member states, as a plan and direction for future prosperity. It identified 17 goals, with one of them highlighting the sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work. Providing quality jobs and safe working environment, while decreasing in-work poverty, are important preconditions for sustainable economic development. The purpose of this paper is to point out the importance of productive employment from the aspect of sustainable development on the example of Serbia, comparing indicators with surrounding countries and leading EU members. Particular emphasis will be placed on the main difficulties young people in Serbia deal with at the labor market, on certain inequalities and necessary strategies to alleviate the current problems. The issue of youth not in employment, education or training will be analyzed as well, along with unemployment and decent work opportunities in terms of gender and age structure. Furthermore, it aims to address the main causes of these disparities in order to indicate the changes that need to be made and suggest strategies for their implementation.