Romania ranks among the EU states with low job vacancy rates despite claims of workforce crisis

Sorin Melenciuc 18/03/2019 | 16:34

The impressive economic growth Romania has been experiencing during the last few years has put increasing pressure on employers to find skilled workers in order to expand their businesses, but recent official data show Romania is far from being considered to be in a “workforce crisis” situation.

The job vacancy rate in Romania fell 0.1 percentage point in the last quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter, to 1.2 percent, the eighth lowest rate among the 28 EU member states, Eurostat data showed on Monday.

This evolution is in sharp contrast with claims that Romania is experiencing a workforce crisis.

Experts point out that economic growth in Romania is slowing down and limiting job creation despite higher wages.

“With job creation slowing and limited fiscal space to maintain the pace of wage rises, we expect wage growth to ease a bit. While the economy is likely to be cooling off, wage pressures are likely to remain elevated and might be exacerbated by the electoral calendar,” ING analysts said in a recent report.

But the real labor shortage is currently experienced in EU by the advanced economies, with sophisticated structures and high wages.

Among EU member states, the highest job vacancy rates in the last quarter of 2018 were recorded in the Czech Republic (6 percent), Belgium and Germany (both 3.4 percent), Austria (3.1 percent),and  the Netherlands (2.9 percent), according to Eurostat.

Lack of skilled workers

The impressive economic growth Romania has been experiencing during the last few years has put increasing pressure on employers to find skilled workers in order to expand their businesses but the latest official data show that Romania is far from being considered to be in a severe “workforce crisis” situation.

Moreover, the economic growth has slowed down last year to 4.1 percent, from 7 percent in 2017. Experts warn that GDP growth rate could slow down to less than 3 percent this year, limiting job creation despite higher wages.

According to official data, workforce shortage is concentrated in some areas like services (3.4 percent job vacancy rate in Q4 2018), transport (1.9 percent) and IT (1.8 percent), a consequence of the fact that much of the economic growth in Romania is the product of a consumer bonanza, stimulated by years of wage-led growth government policy.

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