The employment rate in the 28 member states of the European Union continued its steady, if incremental, decline in 2013, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on May 19.
According to Eurostat’s labour force survey, the employment rate of people aged 20 to 64 posted a fifth consecutive year of negative or flat growth since peaking at 70.3 per cent in 2008, falling to 68.3 per cent in 2013.
The EU employment target for 2020 is 75 per cent, although targets for individual member states vary. Only two countries, Germany and Malta, have reached their 2020 targets.
In Bulgaria’s case, the employment rate edged 0.5 percentage points higher to 63.5 per cent, still far below the 2008 figure of 70.7 per cent.
Bulgaria’s employment rate in 2013 was the sixth-lowest in the EU as a whole, above only Hungary, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Greece. The country’s 2020 target is 76 per cent.
Eurostat’s figures showed that the employment rate for the age group 55 to 64, however, remains on an ascendant trend. In 2013, the EU28 average increased to 50.1 per cent – up from 38.1 per cent in 2002 and 48.8 per cent in 2012. In Bulgaria, the employment rate of that age group was 47.4 per cent in 2013, compared to 27.7 per cent in 2002.
(Photo: Sergio Roberto Bichara/sxc.hu)