Eurostat: Romania ranks 2nd in EU standings on rising work force costs Nine O’Clock December 14, 2007
by Karina Lerintiu
The pace of rising costs associated with labour force in Romania slowed down slightly, yet, the country still ranks 2nd in a relevant EU standings, behind Latvia, according to the Eurostat, reports Mediafax. During July-September 2007, labour force costs borne by employers rose 23.2 per cent from the year-earlier period, according to a Eurostat report. Romania saw the fastest rise, 26.1 per cent, compared to the corresponding period a year ago. The rise in labour-related costs in the construction and industry sectors was of 25.2 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively.
Germany, 0.9 per cent, and Finland, 1.9 per cent reported the highest average third-quarter rise in labour cots EU-wide. Labour costs in the industry, construction and service sectors in the EU rose 3.4 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively. Salary and bonus increases ranged from 1.5 per cent in Germany to 29.9 per cent in Latvia. Salary-related expenses dropped 1 per cent in Germany and rose 28.9 per cent in Latvia.
The Eurostat noted that Romania ranked bottom in the EU with respect to company access to Internet, at 58 per cent. Finland ranked highest in this department, 99 per cent, followed by Slovakia (98 per cent), Belgium, Denmark and Austria, 97 per cent, according to data in January of this year. Besides Romania, another five countries posted access rates lower than 90 per cent – Bulgaria, 75 per cent, Latvia and Hungary, 86 per cent, Cyprus, 88 per cent and Lithuania, 89 per cent
New EU member states made a ‘crucial’ contribution to the reduction of unemployment rate in the territory of the Union by 0.8 per cent from 9 per cent to 8.2 per cent. According to the Eurostat methodology, unemployment arte in Romania in 2006 was 7.3 per cent compared to 8.4 per cent reported in 2002.
The dropping unemployment rate in the EU-27 was mainly sustained by the positive performance of the new entrants. The new member states reported in 2006 a decrease in their unemployment rates by 1.9 per cent, while the EU-15 only reduced it by 0.4 per cent, according to the Eurostat communiqué. In the last five years, the difference between EU-15 and new member state unemployment rates was approximately 6 per cent, and the gap now accounts for one third of the figure reported in 2002.
Long term unemployment rate in the new EU member states in 2006 dropped 1 per cent, to 52.5 per cent, while in the EU-15 the share went up from 41.8 per cent to 42.4 per cent. Over the last five years, The Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia increased their long-term unemployment rate by over 10 per cent, whereas in Bulgaria, Spain and Italy it dropped by a minimum of 10 per cent.