Romania’s employment hits new high, but industrial workforce shrinks

Romania’s employment hits new high, but industrial workforce shrinks
By bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019

The number of employees in Romania’s economy reached a ten-year high in February: 4.97mn people, up by nearly 70,000 (+1.4% y/y) compared to the same month of 2018, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

At the same time, unemployment kept dropping to new record low values: the registered unemployment was 3.3%, the lowest since 1990, while ILO unemployment (seasonally adjusted) was not far its historic minimum at 3.8%.

The detailed figures from the statistics office indicate that employment increased in the sectors of trade (and other services to households, +16,500 jobs or +2.1% employment), hotels and restaurants (14,300 new jobs, +7.4%), information and communications (14,300 new jobs, +8.3%), and IT (11,100 new jobs, +14.1%).

Notably, employment in manufacturing industries dropped by 1.4% y/y, or by 16,400 jobs to 1.17mn. Industrial employment dropped by 1.2% y/y to 1.38mn.

The primary driver was the shrinking workforce in low-earning sectors of light industry (-7.5%, or 8,800 fewer jobs in clothing manufacturing). Interestingly, employment in the sector of transport means (cars) production dropped by 6.4% (13,200 jobs) at a time when automakers are increasing their output, which indicates that technology investments in high-earning sectors (such as car production) tend to substitute labour with the final result of higher productivity and hence sustainability.