The average annual unemployment rate in 2009 stood at 7.59 per cent, the National Employment Agency said Wednesday.
According to the latest data released by Eurostat, the average monthly unemployment rate for the 11 months of 2009 in EU27 was 8.87 per cent, slightly higher in the euro are (9.37 per cent). Bulgaria is among the 9 EU Member States with lowest unemployment rate.
Unemployment in Bulgaria in December 2009 was 9.13 per cent, 0.47 percentage points up from November 2009 and 2.86 points up from December 2008.
A total of 338,144 unemployed people were registered at job centres in December 2009, which implies an increase by 17,386 from November 2009.
Regional unemployment levels were lower than the national average in seven regions: Sofia City (2.90 per cent), Gabrovo (6.66 per cent), Bourgas (6.74 per cent), Varna (7.40 per cent), Stara Zagora (7.43 per cent), Plovdiv (8.22 per cent) and Pernik (8.46 per cent). In the remaining 21 regions, the unemployment rate was above the national average, with the highest regional levels registered in Smolyan (15.86 per cent), Turgovishte (15.10 per cent), Montana (14.51 per cent) and Shoumen (14.23 per cent).
The share of newly registered unemployed people remains higher in services (48 per cent) and in industry (30.3 per cent).
A total of 9,380 unemployed people started work in December 2009. Some 7,682 unemployed people (81.9 per cent) who started work over the month found jobs through the mediation of job centres, most of them (7,292) being engaged in the real economy.
At end-December, the number of vacant jobs offered at job centres stood at 3,120, a decrease by 35.6 per cent from a month earlier. There are 2,584 vacancies on the primary labour market, 2.3 times less than in December 2008.