The main industrial production in the municipality involves foodstuffs, and the prevailing type of economic activity is the processing industry of 42.5%.
There are five big enterprises and around 200 small and medium-sized enterprises in Prokuplje, whereby the private sector prevails. The process of privatization in a certain number of enterprises has not as yet been completed.
The percentage of those unemployed is 36% with respect to the working age population, and the qualifications that are most on demand include: graduate mathematicians, teachers of the English language, graduate engineers of technical vocations. As to the industrial branches, the percentage of unemployment is the highest among the workers of textile industry. The National Employment Service exclusively deals with the problem of employment. As to the ownership right over the land and other resources within the community, the ratio is balanced, i.e. the percentage of privately and state-owned land is approximately the same.
The total arable agricultural land amounts to 45,083 hectares. Around 13,500 t of wheat, 20,300 t of corn, 2,500 t of barley, 21,300 t of plum, 6,700 t of sour cherry, and over 10,000 t of other fruits are produced annually.
Animal husbandry is also developed, from which almost 1,700 t of meat of large animals are bought up annually. Agriculture is the main agent of development of the municipality in Prokuplje territory and a significant factor of subsistence of the population. In line with the initiatives of the community, it is expected that agriculture will take its place, which it deserves by its importance, i.e. it is a major stakeholder in the development of the municipality. Agro industry of the municipality stagnated in a prolonged time period. The enterprises in that area have enviable business and market reputation but, for years, they have been operating with considerable economic and financial difficulties. The enterprises must be consolidated both program-wise and technologically and financially, in view of the number of employees and relatively good and sound technical capacities. It has the potential for further development both through the existing and through new enterprises, but conceptually, it should be focused on the production of health food, drinks and tonics, because they are increasingly on demand in the international and domestic markets.
The most important economic subjects in the territory of the municipality of Prokuplje in the areas of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy are: Factory of non-ferrous metals and Metal enterprise 'Toplica'. The first one is in the process of privatization by the method of public auction, and the other one in bankruptcy proceedings in the phase of announcement of the first public tender for the sale of the entire assets of the enterprise. In the area of non-ferrous metals, the enterprises: Glass Plant '9. oktobar' and 'Univerzalpromet' were bought from liquidation same as the cotton processing factory ‚‚Nova Topličanka‚‚. AD FIAZ, which manufactured friction products for car industry, is in the insolvency phase after an unsuccessful privatization. In the area of textile industry, the socially-owned enterprise 'Budućnost' was bought from liquidation and it capacities have been converted. The factory for processing of felt products 'Nikodije Stojanović – Tatko' was successfully privatized by the Slovenian company ‚‚Konus‚‚ and it employs around 130 workers. In the area of foodstuffs industry, the enterprises: 'Milan Toplica', 'Prokupac', and 'Hissar' Company have been privatized. The enterprise ‚‚Milan Toplica‚‚ has also undergone through a phase of an unsuccessful privatization; namely, most of the companies that are the agents of development of this region have shared the same fate; currently this company is in the phase of liquidation. As to other companies from this sector, for Hissar Company, we can say that it is one of a few that have been privatized and continued with operation. Hissar was bought by Pionir from Subotica. All the three enterprises in the area of construction industry: Brickworks '7.juli', 'Kristal', and 'Berilje' have been privatized by the method of public auction and they still do business with quite variable and modest results. In the area of timber and wood industry, there are two enterprises: 'Naš dom' and 'Proiver'. The enterprise 'Naš dom' is in the phase of liquidation and the assets of the enterprise are being sold through the Court. The enterprise 'Proiver' is in private ownership and operates with quite modest results. In the area of trade, major enterprises are in business: 'Rič', 'Eurokomerc', 'Neca', 'Čutura', 'Olimpik', 'Braneks”, “Stamenković' (all in private ownership), while the socially-owned enterprise 'Trgopromet' has been privatized by the method of public auction.
In the area of tourism, the enterprise 'Proturs' has been privatized, and the Tourist Society 'Prokuplje' is in the process of accelerated auction type privatization. Both enterprises operate with difficulties, on the verge of profitability.
The problems which the economic subjects in the municipality of Prokuplje are facing are numerous. Starting from the problems that are reflected in the drastic reduction of the physical volume of production, underutilized production capacities, inadequate employment of work force, and very bad qualification structure of employees, their poor motivation, and inadequate ratio between the total number of employees and the workers engaged in actual production, major problems in the organization of the process of production both from the aspect of procurement of basic raw materials and reproduction materials and from the aspect of sale of finished goods, problems in securing quality working capital required for a normal production process taking place and maintenance of day-to-day liquidity, which makes the enterprises in our territory uncompetitive in the domestic and foreign markets and unattractive in the process of privatization.
Public enterprises in the territory of the municipality of Prokuplje are: Public Utility Company 'Čistoća-Sanitation'; Public Utility Company 'Gradski vodovod-Waterworks'; Public Company 'Directorate of Construction, Town Planning, and Housing Affairs of the Municipality of Prokuplje'; Public Utility Company 'Tržnice-Market Places'.
Public utility economy in the municipality is in a difficult situation and there are huge needs for reconstruction and modernization of the existing capacities. It is necessary to reconstruct the existing and to construct new water supply network, to construct a town collector, town market places, dumpsites, cemeteries, transformer stations, etc.
Small and medium-size enterprises
For the cross-section view of the present state, the data from the previous 10 years were taken into account, with a particular stress on the last two years.
Most of the workers in the municipality are employed in big enterprises, 23.49%, and the lowest number of them in small mixed enterprises, 0.12% of the total number of workers. If we also analyze the enterprises by the character of their activities, the biggest number of workers is employed in manufacturing enterprises, 84.72%, while the enterprises, which are engaged in services, employ 15.28% of workers.