Romania's seasonally-adjusted ILO unemployment rate edged down to 7.2% in February from 7.3% in January, the statistics office announced. The rate reached a maximum for the past couple of years in October-November when it was 7.4%. On the year, the seasonally-adjusted rate remained constant. The data is for the widest age brackets, 15-74 years.
For the narrow age brackets of 24-74 years, the ILO unemployment also dropped slightly to 5.7% in February from 5.8% in January and 5.9% in October-November. But it also edged down slightly from 5.8% in February 2013. In principle, this means that the unemployment for the 15-24 years has increased on the year – but the magnitude of the shift must have been rather slow – as indicated by the marginal decrease in the rate for the 24-74 age.
While the unemployment metrics remain in Romania quite encouraging by EU standards, the employment readings are rather disappointing. Not only that the employment lags well behind the pre-crisis  levels, despite the economic recovery that brought industrial output close to pre-crisis levels and the exports well above pre-crisis peak levels, but it is low in absolute value – compared to the country’s population. Out of the nearly 4.4mn total employment, more than 1mn are working in the public sector – at a population of some 19mn.
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