In parallel with the slowdown of economic growth, the labor market went through less beneficial changes compared to previous years. The calendar year of 2018 closed with a lower employment rate compared to 2017 and a shrinking active workforce, according to Erdélystat.
The numbers compiled by the statistics firm look into the country’s workforce (people aged between 15 and 64). The number is not to be confused with the total number of employees, which stood at 4.9 million at the end of last year.
In Transylvania, the size of the active workforce dropped by 49,000 people in 2018 alone. If we combine this number with the general demographic decline – 52,000 people last year – we understand the red flag such statistics raise, and fertility rate statistics assume more relevance. The drop in the active workforce means that Transylvania began the calendar 2019 with only 4.46 million people aged between 15 and 64, of which only 2.78 million people are present in the labor market, which is 1.2% or 35,000 fewer than in 2017.
This means only 62.3% of the potential workforce is active, a number that is 6.3% lower than the European Union’s average and 2.5% lower than the Romanian average of 64.8%. It is worth adding that in 2018, the Transylvanian labor market was 3.7% smaller (counting 100,000 less active workforce) than it was in 2007.
When looking at the demographic characteristics of the active workforce, we find that one of the reasons is the employment rate gap between women and men, combined with the employment rate of persons with a low level of education.
In Transylvania, only 53% of women are employed, compared to 71.4% of men, representing an 18.4% difference, which compares to the EU’s average of 10.5%. As you can see in the image inserted below, only 17.4% of the active workforce aged between 15 and 24 are employed, and 43.2% of the 55–64 age group.
The employment rate of persons with a low level of education is also disappointing at 33.6% in Transylvania. That compares to 88% of persons with higher education, which surpasses the EU’s average. The full report can be read on Erdélystat’s website.
Title image: Employment rate in 2018. Source: Erdélystat