2010 Unemployment Not Expected to Exceed 9.6-9.7 Per Cent

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2010 Unemployment Not Expected to Exceed 9.6-9.7 Per Cent

The average annual unemployment for 2010 is not expected to exceed 9.6 - 9.7 per cent, Labour and Social Policy Minister Totyu Mladenov said here Saturday, during a national conference "Support for Worthy Labour" organized by the Podkrepa trade union.

Mladenov said that from the peak of 10.26 per cent in February unemployment has dropped to 8.92 per cent at the moment. The rate of unemployment envisaged in the 2010 budget is 11.4 per cent, and 9.4 per cent in 2011, he recalled.

A total of 110,000 jobs have become available through job centres in January-October, of which 86,000 were taken, Mladenov said.

Ministry data show that more than 75 million leva in back pay have been paid up since the start of the year, so that the situation regarding delayed salaries has returned to normal, the Ministry said.

Head of the Employment Agency Rossitsa Stiliyanova said that 700 foreign nationals have applied for jobs in Bulgaria since the start of the year, most of them professors, athletes, chefs and masseurs. More than 300,000 people have left the unemployment system, she said. A total of 12,733 Roma have been included in various programs of the Employment Agency, of whom 8,411 persons received jobs.

Speaking to reporters later on Saturday Mladenov said that money accrued in the Silver Fund will be possible to invest in securities on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. He said that on Friday the Governing Board of the Silver Fund discussed ways to make the best possible use of the resources in the Fund.

Mladenov said that in the short term it was decided to put the money in 6-, 3- and 2-month deposits in the central bank in a bid to double yields from it from the current 0.11 - 0.15 per cent to 0.35 per cent on annual terms. Amendments to the Silver Fund Act will make it possible to invest the money as long-term solutions, he said, adding that a working group made up of trade unions and employers representatives will discuss by the end of the year how best to invest the money in the Silver Fund.

Mladenov projected that money in the Fund will increase by more than 1,000 million leva in just three years. The Silver Fund currently has 1,683 million leva. In 2011 about 100 million leva are expected to be paid in it, 40 million leva from privatization and 60 million from concession fees. The projections for 2012 are that 450 million leva will be paid in the Fund from privatization transactions and about 65 million leva from concession fees. The respective projected figures for 2013 are 400 million leva and 85 million leva.

Prodkrepa Labour Confederation Vice President Dimiter Manolov said that there are apparent interests to put the money from the Silver Fund in different investment companies and investment projects "but such things will not be allowed in any way".

Source: BTA

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