Romanian jobless rate jumps to three-year high

The unemployment rate in Romania rose to a three-year high of 5.2 percent, the National Statistics Office (INS) announced on Thursday.

From April to May alone, the unemployment rate rose 0.4 percent and there were 463,000 registered jobless people compared with 432,000 in April and 352,000 last May among all those of employment age (15 to 75). Unemployment among men was significantly higher at 6.1 percent than among women (4 percent).

According to the latest, mid-June data from the Labour Ministry, 141,664 persons were on technical unemployment (meaning they kept their jobs but were not working, so received no wages). At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April, the number of those technically unemployed reached one million.

The Labour Ministry last revealed the number of jobs lost at the end of May it then stood at 429,585. The worst-hit sectors were manufacturing, retail trade and construction, with the job losses in those sectors between 65,000 and 76,000.

But smaller sectors such as air transport had even higher jobless rates. At the end of June, most Romanian airports still had over 90 percent of their employees on technical unemployment or had outright fired them.

Although Romania began to ease its lockdown measures in June, the number of new infections is spiking again in what the Health Ministry is calling not a second wave, but a secondary peak of the first wave of the pandemic.

Additionally, there are still over one million people who lost their jobs in Western Europe and are waiting to return there to work, but these are not technically included in the statistics.

Title image: An employment center in Bucharest, Romania. (source: knd.ro)



Author: Dénes Albert