Romania's labor minister expects economic recovery and less than 800,000 unemployed this year

Publish date: 11-05-2009
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The slight monthly hike of only 0.1 percent of the number of unemployed in April over March could mirror the start of economic recovery to continue in the next months, so the number of the jobless could stay below 800,000, the labor minister told NewsIn.

Recently the minister estimated the rate of unemployment could comprise 800,000 people by yearend, but explained that the figure was only a prognosis of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"I believe we should hope in positive economic evolution in the next months," minister Marian Sarbu said, adding he finds it encouraging that the central lender BNR governor Mugur Isarescu mulls the economy could grow this year, despite the economic downturn.

However, the best estimates over the total number of the jobless this year can be made once the summer rate is known, he added. Moreover, an increase below the expectations would definitely be a good thing as the money allotted for unemployment could go into other projects.

The national Forecast Commission looks at a smaller growth of unemployment than the IMF and the European Union. Yet, estimates are all fluid, the minister said.

The number of unemployed rose by 4,120 in April to the highest level of the past three years of 517,741, close to the Labor Ministry's estimates on the number of jobless people at the end of the year, data from the national labor force agency (ANOFM) showed.

Such a high number of unemployed was last counted in March 2006, when there were registered 545,884 jobless people. After the 1989 upheaval against the communist regime in Romania, the unemployment peak was reached in March 1994 - 1.291 million people without a job. The minimum level of unemployment was recorded in June 2008, with 337,084 unemployed.

The unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent in April, from 5.6 percent in March. It stood at 3.9 percent in April 2008.

The executive manager of the Bucharest labor force agency AMOFM, Dumitru Pelican, said on April 22 the number of unemployed could hike close to 800,000 this year, but could stand at 700,000 if the government begins infrastructure investments.

However, the IMF estimates the number of jobless people will reach 800.000 at year-end, while the Forecast Commission bets on only 620,000 unemployed.

The economic crisis has left many people jobless since biting at the Romanian economy at the end of last year. The most hurt staff were people in the industry, constructions and the car making industry where hardships stemmed from global slump in demand.


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