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.