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Unemployment in Bulgaria during the period 16-18

The high rate of unemployment is a new social and economic phenomenon in Bulgarian reality after the fall of communism and the transition from centrally planned economy toward market economy. Unemployment appears with the establishment of free market relations and the transformation of free force into stocks.

Unemployment is such a state of the labor market at which the supply of labor force is greater than its demand. The project and the Law on protection against unemployment and encouragement of employment define unemployment according to criteria accepted by the International Labor Organization. These criteria are the person’s ability to work, the person’s labor status and the person’s activity in the search of jobs.

Custom Essays on Unemployment in Bulgaria during the period 1996-1998

According to these criteria unemployed is considered every individual that is

· physically and mentally fit for work,

· at an age legitimate to work

· not employed (i.e. not hired to perform a certain job on the basis of a labor contract

· not working independently for income in cash or in kind

· searching actively for work

· available to start working immediately

According to the data of the National Statistic Institute on December 1, 17 there were 5 507 unemployed, which is greater with 146 84 than the previous year. It is especially alarming that 18 686 of the unemployed are at age below 4, 8 561 are between 4 and 0 years old (table 1). For one vacancy 4 unemployed apply, which is greater with than the previous year. In January 18 the total number of registered unemployed is 54 751. This number shows an increase of . % in comparison with the previous month.

Table 1. Registered unemployed at the Labor Bureaus by age and gender, December 1

Age 16 17 18

Men Women Men Women Men Women

Total 15 5 6 417 6 454 87 05 11 147 54 055

To 87 104 10 7 84 4 67 17 78 5

0-4 7 77 15 18 111 47 154 00 105 650 14 76

50 and above 0 51 5 47 40 11 461 8 18 061

The total number of unemployed people registered in the Labor Bureau increases from 478 770 at the end of 16 to 5 507 at the end of 17 but a tendency of decreasing is noticed at the end of 18 when the total number of unemployed is 465 0.

The proportion of the unemployed out of the total number of people able to work is 1,15 %, in 16, 1.7% in 17 and 1, % in 18.

The basic reason for increasing unemployment among women is their excessive employment in the period when a policy of “full employment” was at place. When real actions for changing this model were taken, the women were the first to be laid off by employers.

The percentage of the unemployed women out of the total number of unemployed people is almost steady. Moreover, it is more than a half of the total number of unemployed (55% in 16, 54,7% in 17 and 54,6% in 18.

The number of unemployed young women is also high. The relative share of the young women is about 54% of the total number of all young people. Besides, about 57,5 % of the unemployed between 0 and 50 are women.

Table . Unemployment in Bulgaria by age (in percentage)

Year Total percent ofunemployed To Between 0 and 4 50 and above

16 100 ,6 48,7 11,7

17 100 5,0 50,8 1,

18. 100 1, 1, 15,

While in 16 the youth unemployment is ,6 % of the total unemployment, in 7 and 8 it decreases to 5% and 1,% respectively. Table shows that the predominant share of the unemployed falls in the age group of 0 to 50. Age characteristics of unemployed should be taken into consideration by the state when making the policy for reducing unemployment. For example, the policy of reducing unemployment among young people should be focused on programs of education and training for new jobs, while the policy regarding the middle-aged unemployed people should be focused on creating temporary jobs and providing opportunity for self-employment.

Unemployment in Bulgaria affects the labor force with a lower educational and professional level the most. As a trend the coefficient of unemployment is the lowest for specialists with higher education, higher � for people with labor professions and the highest � for people with elementary education (without profession).

Table . Registered unemployed in the labor bureaus to December 1 by groups of specialization

17 18

Total With highereducation Total With higher education

Total 5 507 880 465 0 17 81

With labor profession 1 555 - 105 687 -

Total specialists 88 80 880 6 458 17 81

Groups of specialization

Engineering 4 8 8 8 51 6 51

Agriculture 10 58 1 8 415 1 50

Economy 16 0 4 6 1 746 800

Health services 15 751 1 8 51

Education 10 750 6 06 7 16 4 577

Arts 1 888 540 1 50 50

Other 41 70 71 547

No profession 05 06 - 0 057 -

Regional unemployment, December 18

Region Level of unemployment Region Level ofunemployment

Sofia 5,0 Pernik 8,6

BlagoevGrad 8, Pleven ,7

Burgas 8,6 Plovdiv 6,5

Varna 7, Razgrad 14,

Veliko Turnovo ,4 Ruse 1,5

Vidin Silistra 1,6

Vratsa 4,0 Sliven 4,

Gabrovo , Smolyan 11,

Dobrich 18,6 Sofia 14,

Kurdjali 10,5 Stara Zagora 16,1

Kyustendil 1, Turgovishte 14,8

Lovech 1,8 Haskovo 6,1

Montana 1,4 Shumen 10,8

The main characteristics of the regional unemployment come as a result of many factors. Among these are the structure of regional enterprises, the structure of the regional labor force, the possibilities of initiating new enterprises, the natural and geographic characteristics of the region, etc.

The data of the National Employment Agency on the level of registered unemployment show that in a number of regions in the country the level of unemployment exceeds the average level of the country and also that it affects more than half of the population able to work in the region.

The burning economic and social problems coming as a result of the regional unemployment require a special treatment of the regional unemployment on the part of the state’s employment policy. There should be a more active cooperation between the state labor institutions and the local authorities in creating and various programs both for keeping the existing positions and for providing new ones.

Reasons Total Level of education

University College Secondary Specialized Secondary Elementary

Total 556,1 4, 1, 107,6 174,4 7,0

Laid off, fired 5,5 18,4 6,8 60, 8,8 15,6

Voluntary resignation (inc. retirement) ,6 1,7 0,6 11,0 11,1 8,

Ending temporary or seasonal work 80, ,4 1,1 10,7 4,6 41,5

Ending high school or university 47,4 7,5 , 8,5 0,4 8,8

Discharge from mandatory military service 41,4 0,7 - 7,5 15,0 18,

Other 58, ,6 ,1 ,0 1,5 4,6

Table 5. Unemployed people by reasons for unemployment and level of education, November 18

A distinctive feature of the unemployment in Bulgaria is its cyclic and financial character because it is result of the deep economic crisis of the last a few years. This is evident from the fact that the main reasons for unemployment during the described period are forced shutting of enterprises that leads to laying off workers. This is what 55,7 �55, % of the unemployed people point as a reason for their unemployment (Table 5.)

Closing the work places down in the budget sphere came as a result of the following factors

· Fall in output in the material sector due to aggravating market situation;

· Shutting down a number of ineffective enterprises that were established to keep a certain level of employment at the expense of the state budget;

· Suspending the subsides to a number of enterprises in the material sector, which forced them to adopt a economical mode of production and decrease the number of work places;

· Sudden cut of the budget expenses in order to reduce the budget deficit which leads to shrinking and shutting down of numerous enterprises relying on the budget, etc.

The relatively high level of unemployment in Bulgaria during the last years is a result of output fall and shutting down of inefficient enterprises.

The cyclic unemployment will apparently increase in the future due to the fact that the process of shutting down of in inefficient enterprises is not over yet. Moreover, the number of people to lose their jobs will increase as a result of the branch and product restructuring of the output and its technological renovation.

In the years to come the level of unemployment and along with all economic phenomena will depend on the changes in the economic cycle.

We can conclude that the social price, expressed in the direct hardship of the unemployment suffered by a large part of the economically active population and in the indirect hardship suffered by the whole population, should be taken as a long-term companion in the development toward market economy.


1. Statistical manual � National Statistic Institute, 17

. Statistical manual � National Statistic Institute, 18

. Economy of Labor � University of National and World Economy (UNWE), 17

4. Dimitar Shopov - “Scientific works”, vol. 1, UNWE, 18

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