BR Analysis. One in three Romanian employees work in or near Bucharest, Timisoara and Cluj, and the gap between regions widens every year

Sorin Melenciuc 03/09/2018 | 14:35

Romania currently has 5.3 million employees, but almost one third of all jobs are concentrated in the proximity of the biggest three cities in the country – Bucharest, Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca, according to Business Review calculations based on official data.

In June, Romania had 5.34 million employees (up 3.4 percent from June 2017), of which 4.94 million were working in companies with at least 4 employees.

But almost one third of Romania’s employees (31.5 percent) work in Bucharest and its surroundings (Ilfov county) and in the counties of Timis and Cluj, dominated by the rich cities of Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca.

Bucharest, the capital city of the country, dominates the job market and had 1.03 million employees in June, almost one fifth (19.2 percent) of the total number of employees in Romania.

Bucharest also creates jobs in its close proximity. The Ilfov county, which surrounds the city, has 151,146 employees, but these jobs usually rely on Bucharest’s economy.

Two other counties in Romania are far above all other counties in terms of employment. In June, Timis county (Western Romania), dominated by its rich capital city of Timisoara, had 253,213 employees (4.7 percent of total number of employees), while its main rival, the Transylvanian cosmopolitan city of Cluj-Napoca, had 249,730 employees (also 4.7 percent of Romania’s workforce).

The next counties in terms of employment are Constanta (Romania’s main port at the Black Sea), with 186,618 employees, and Prahova (184,001 employees).

But other counties in Romania have much lower performance in term of job creation. In counties in eastern and southern Romania, jobs are rare and many counties (like Botosani, Vaslui, Calarasi, Ialomita, Giurgiu, Teleorman, and Mehedinti) have fewer or a little more than 50,000 employees.

The entire province of Oltenia, with five counties, has around 405,000 employees, a workforce similar to that of Timis and Arad counties put together.

A recent BR analysis showed that Romania still had a large unemployed workforce, hidden in the official statistics under the expression “self-employed in agriculture”, despite claims of a workforce crisis.

Few available jobs

Experts warn that Romania still has few available jobs compared to its total active population, and this factor limits its growth potential.

“The Romanian labor market offers a pretty complex and slightly puzzling perspective. In the 15-64-year old category, there are roughly 4.9 million employees in an active population of around 8.8 million. By contrast, neighboring Hungary has roughly 4.4 million employees and an active population of 4.6 million,” ING analysts said in a recent report.

Experts warn that Romania needs to maintain a high rate of job creation in order to keep structural unemployment under control.

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