What Boc isn't saying: 10% jobless rate

Publish date: 22-12-2009
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Prime Minister Designate Emil Boc drafted a governing program around the targets agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF): a 5.9 percent budget deficit and 1.3 percent economic growth in 2010. In order to meet this deficit target, at least €2.5 billion must be cut from public spending, which means massive layoffs in the state sector.

This is why IMF's forecast for the unemployment rate indicates a double-digit level in the first part of 2010, a figure which is not reflected in the governing program. In order to improve access to the labour market and reduce the number of unemployed, the government plans to raise the employment rate for the active population to 65 percent from 59.2 percent by 2013, although without any specific solutions. But the reality is that the jobless rate was already at 7.5 percent by the end of November, which translates to nearly 700,000 unemployed, with companies still announcing layoffs.

Almost 100,000 jobless people have not been included in the database of the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), and are not receiving unemployment benefits, according to market data. The National Institute of Statistics (INS) and specialists indicate that the number of employees laid off in 2009 now exceeds 370,000.

"The only explanation for this discrepancy is that some 100,000 people were laid off by mutual agreement, in exchange for severance packages. In this case, such persons do not receive unemployment benefits," said Dumitru Costin, President of the National Trade Union Block.

Ion Iordache, Vice President of the Dacia trade union, said that these people opted for another way. "I believe that most of them chose to work on the black market. On the other hand, some of them did not register as unemployed because they do not know the advantages they could receive. There are people, many from rural areas, who do not have access to information and do not know their rights," added Iordache.


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