ArmInfo. According to the results of 2017, the number of private enterprises created in Armenia reached 7,000, Gagik Makaryan, an economist and Chairman of the Union of Employers of Armenia, told a news conference on January 10.
Answering the question of ArmInfo, the expert noted that the dominant part of the newly opened enterprises are SME entities. "Thanks to this, 40,000 jobs were created in Armenia over the past year, and the number of employees reached 330,000, instead of 290,000 in 2016," he said. In particular, G. Makaryan explained that the creation of jobs, by and large is associated with the growth and stimulation of tourism services, the creation of small industries in different communities, etc.
"If the annual growth of SMEs is about 0.8-0.9%, I believe that by the end of 2017, growth will be more substantial, and the share of SMEs in the GDP structure will reach 30% from the previous 28%," he said.
Such indicators, according to the expert, suggest that the unemployment rate in the country from 18% will decrease by almost 2 percentage points. "The state bodies have not yet submitted the final figures, but I believe that their calculated indicators will be close to mine," G. Makaryan added. He noted that in order to stimulate employment in Armenia, a plan is needed to take urgent measures, which unfortunately the government does not have. "There are certain programs on labor protection aimed at stimulating employment and retraining personnel in certain areas, but there are no mechanisms for urgent measures," he said. The availability and application of the latter, according to the expert, will reduce unemployment in Armenia in half - up to 9% in 2018.
One of such mechanisms, in his opinion, can be the development of tourism, which is a sphere of rapid impact. "In the case of tourism, there is no need for major investments, in particular, related to the launch of plants, etc. It is necessary to apply a conceptual approach and improve certain marketing tools," he explained.
According to the National Statistical Service, the unemployment rate in Armenia by October 1, 2017 decreased year-on-year from 18.1% to 16.5%. It should be noted that according to the updated forecast of the Central Bank of Armenia, the unemployment rate in 2017 will make 17.9%, followed by a decrease in the medium-term prospect by 0.3-0.5 percentage points annually - up to 17.4-17.6%.