The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate reported under ILO methodology increased to 4.6% in March from 3.9% in February, Romania's statistics office INS informed.
The estimated number of unemployed persons thus increased by over 50,000 compared to February, to 409,555.
ILO unemployment measures the share of working-age population actively seeking jobs.
The military ordinances issued by the Government under the state of emergency, aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, have led many companies to partially or wholly cease operations. This has led to the highest unemployment rate in more than two years.
March unemployment rate is still low compared to the levels expected in the coming months, the experts believe.
"The unemployment rate in March is still low because the effects of the pandemic were not felt yet. Companies waited until the last moment to see what measures the state would take to support technical unemployment," says Sorina Donisa, CEO of the temporary recruitment and hiring company APT Resources & Services, quoted by Ziarul Financiar daily.
Oana Botolan Datki, SEE managing partner of CTeam Human Capital, a company with activities in the human resources sector, expressed expectations for an 8% unemployment rate this year with the figure to reflect the full magnitude of the shock no sooner than May.
Florin Godean, country manager at Adecco Romania & Hungary, is more optimistic and believes that the unemployment rate will reach a level of 6.9% in the third quarter, to further increase until the end of the year. "I think an unemployment rate of 6-7% is a healthy level for the economy," he commented.
Lack of workforce used to be one of the major problems for companies operating in Romania before the COVID-19 crisis.
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