Number of jobless Romanians up by 43% over past year
The number of Romanians actively seeking employment (ILO unemployment) rose to just over 500,000 as of July, 43% (or 150,000 people) more than in the same month last year, according to data published by the statistics office INS.
There were about 120,000 more unemployed persons in July than in February this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke.
The seasonally adjusted ILO unemployment rate rose to 5.4% in July, from 4.0% in July 2019, and 4.3% in February 2020.
Thus, the ILO unemployment rate rose by 1.4pp over the past year, or 1.1pp since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The employment data as of June (latest data available) indicate a decline in the number of employees by only 83,000 people (1.7%) over the past year and 100,000 (2%) since February. The employment declined in the sectors severely hit by the subdued economic activity in the second quarter this year (such as the automobile industry).
Compared to the magnitude of the slump in the economic activity (industrial output contracted by 27% and GDP dropped by 10.5% year on year in the second quarter of the year), the shock on the labor market was lower due to the Government’s interventions, which included subsidies for technical unemployment.
The higher number of Romanians seeking jobs may be explained by the significant number of Romanians who returned from abroad, part of whom have not gone back yet to the western European countries where they were working before the crisis. On the upside, their impact on the economic developments these months may explain the quick recovery of private consumption (+2.9% year on year in June).
(Photo source: Tero Vesalainen/Dreamstime.com)