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Image © catalinlazar/Adobe Stock Photos
Image © catalinlazar/Adobe Stock Photos

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Romania keeps youth unemployment below EU average

In 2020, the youth unemployment ratio in Romania was 5.5%, while the EU27 average stood at 7.1%. This ratio, which notes number of unemployed young people as a proportion of the total population of that age group, increased in almost all EU Member States between 2019 and 2020. In Romania, specifically, the figure rose from 4.8%, while the EU average increased from 6.5%.

This data was recently published in the Eurofound report Impact of COVID-19 on young people in the EU, which explores the effects of the pandemic on young people, as they proved to be more vulnerable to the effects of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and more likely than older groups to experience job loss, financial insecurity and mental health problems.

Among the most vulnerable to the economic effects of the pandemic were young people already at risk of poverty or social exclusion: according to the most recent Eurostat data, 34.2% of people aged 15–29 were in this category in Romania – the highest share across the EU, where the average was 26.6% in 2019.

The report also presents various policy measures introduced to alleviate these effects. In Romania, for example, incentives for employers to hire young workers were offered to create permanent contracts for young people (aged 16–29) listed as unemployed by employment agencies. Furthermore, a national programme purchased 250,000 electronic devices with an internet connection for primary, lower secondary and upper secondary students in full-time or part-time education to support the transition to online learning. Other examples of programmes aimed at improving the digital infrastructure were found in Belgium, Ireland and many other countries.

With social distancing measures in place, telework has become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report What just happened? COVID-19 lockdowns and change in the labour market describes the employment developments by sector and occupation through the first year of the crisis and finds that 16% of Romania’s employment is in so-called teleworkable sectors (e.g. education, most of public administration, finance, insurance or telecommunications). This is the lowest rate across the EU27, where the average is 27%. Romania also notes the largest share of its employment (37%) in essential sectors (e.g. agriculture), which is the biggest share compared to all other EU Member States (average 26%).

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Anna Gallinat

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Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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