Moldova’s unemployment rate starts to rise

Moldova’s unemployment rate starts to rise
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 4, 2016

The unemployment rate in Moldova, defined according to ILO methodology, increased to a still low value of 4.9% in 2015 after bottoming out at 3.9% in 2014.

The unemployment rate is still lower than at any time between 2008 and 2013. However, this is because most Moldovans who needed a job either stopped looking for a job at home and migrated temporarily to Russia or Europe, or live in rural areas where subsistence farming counts as an informal occupation.

The IMF has said it expects the jobless rate to reach 6% this year.

Only 71% of the total occupied population are in formal employment, and the remaining of 29% are occupied in either informal entities or work in their own households (mainly agricultural work).

One fifth of the occupied population and 28% of formal employment is in the public sector - public administration, education, health system and social assistance. Only 12% of the occupied population is employed in industry. One third of country’s occupied population works in agriculture, mostly in subsistence farms. 

A large part of the active population - roughly half the size of the population occupied at home - is working abroad.

The total economically active population, which includes both the employed and unemployed, rose 1.6% on the year to 1.2mn. Its small share of the country’s total population could be explained by the high number of Moldovans (600,000-800,000) working abroad.

Unemployment among young people (15-24 years) was 12.8%, while for the 15-29 age bracket it reached 9.7%.

  2012 2013 2014 2015
Total         1,147         1,173         1,185         1,204
Formal employment            877            879            865            856
Informal employment            153            163            191            187
Households            117            131            130            161
Source: BNS