Romanian Labor Min Significantly Revises '09 Jobless Estimates

Publish date: 23-03-2009
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Romania's labor minister Marian Sarbu said Monday the number of the unemployed in Romania will be at around 800,000 at the end of 2009, significantly above the 525,000 initially estimated.

Sarbu said the number of jobless will significantly exceed the initial forecasts, by around 200,000-300,000 people.
Thus, the Labor Ministry asked the Government to supplement its budget by 500 million lei (EUR1=RON4.2946), in order to support the unemployed.
Romania's unemployment rate went up to 5.3% in February, compared with 4.9% in the previous month, the employment agency ANOFM said earlier March. ANOFM said the country registered 477,860 jobless people in February, from 444,907 in January.
The labor minister said he hopes the talks with IMF representatives would allow the offset of economic and fiscal measures with social protection measures.
According to Sarbu, the draft law on cutting bonuses and indemnities does not have a direct connection with IMF negotiations, but could be a good start for salary reforms in the public sector.
The Labor Ministry budget totals EUR12 billion in 2009, out of which the social insurance budget is set at EUR1.5 billion.
According to the latest forecast of the European Commission, or EC, published in January, Romania's unemployment rate will reach 7% in 2009, up from 6.2% in 2008.
Romanian Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea said in January that the number of Romanian jobless persons will grow this year to 505,000 people, from 403,400 people at the end of 2008.


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