Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania Maintaining Workforce Despite COVID-19 Challenges
The American Chamber of Commerce in Albania (AmCham) conducted a broad survey of its member base last week in order to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on its employment workforce. AmCham currently represents 224 companies with a total of 38,000 employees, which reported 464 layoffs, representing 1.9% of their existing workforce.
175 companies or 78% of AmCham’s member base participated in the survey – an unusually high response rate – reflecting the concern of its members during the crisis. Of the 175 participating companies, 30 companies (17%) have already implemented some job cuts during the March – April period, and a large majority (83%) are retaining all employees. Impact varies by sector, with a greater impact in the tourism, construction, services, and transportation sectors.
A significant number of members stated a willingness to protect employees, viewing them as precious human capital. Members will consider layoffs only as a measure of last resort.
Company representatives expressed concern about the near future. An additional 16 companies (9%) are planning a total of 666 layoffs (2.7%) in the next 2 months, if the situation does not improve. If implemented, these cuts would raise the total number of job losses for AmCham members to an estimated 4.6% of its combined workforce. None of the companies reported immediate plans to file for bankruptcy.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Albania has been in regular communication with its members in order to identify challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Members’ feedback has led AmCham to make policy recommendations to the Albanian Government. AmCham will continue to monitor the situation closely and issue periodic updates.