Unemployment in August Forecast between 6.9 Per Cent, 7.06 Per Cent

Unemployment in August Forecast between 6.9 Per Cent, 7.06 Per Cent

Presenting the mid-term report of her Ministry's work Labour and Social Policy Minister Emilia
Maslarova said that according to inconclusive data, unemployment in August was 6.9 per cent but would actually prove 7.06 per cent. Maslarova said that in the course of two years employment reached 3.2 million people, and new jobs number more than 241,000, which is higher than the target for the cabinet's entire term.

Maslarova said unemployment is a problem for people with secondary or lower education, where the percentage of jobless people is 16 per cent. She said that the efforts are now shifted from encouraging employers to hire new workers to upgrading their vocational qualifications.

The cabinet reports increased incomes and pensions and reduced social security payments, Maslarova said.

The minimum wage increased by 20 per cent compared to 2005, from 150 leva to 180 leva (roughly equal to 90 euros), Maslarova said.

In July 2007 the nationally representative organizations of employees and employers signed an agreement to increase average gross wages by 12.9 per cent as of 2008.

Since the start of the term of the incumbent government the monthly wage increased by 28.1 per cent, from 317 leva in September 2005 to 406 leva at the end of the second quarter of 2007.

The pensions were increased three times in two years, Maslarova said. A new increase in pensions will take force on October 1, by 10 per cent, bringing the average pension to 184 leva, which is 36 per cent up the figure from the start of the tenure of the Sergei Stanishev government.

Maslarova said that incentives have been put in place to extend the working life of people who have reached retirement age.

The Labour and Social Policy Ministry is going to propose the creation of a Silver investment fund to aid the pension system, Maslarova said.

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