Finance Minister Pogea: Unemployment rate not to exceed 10% in 2009

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Romanian will not have a 2-figure unemployment rate in 2009, Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea told a TV station.

He stated that at the budget revision in August the amounts earmarked for unemployment benefits will be increased by 864 million lei, to serve as ‘safety net’ and added that the unemployment rate would be moderate even if economy continued to shrink in the last two quarters of the year.

Pogea reminded that Romania ranks 5th in the EU in terms of countries with the smallest unemployment rate at this time of crisis and 3rd , after Holland and Germany, as regards the unemployment rate dynamics, even if double as compared to the same period of 2008.

The minister warned that the unemployment rate might go up because of the restructuring of the public sector but the situation will be better in the private sector, against a slight economic recovery of 0 – 0.5%.

The unemployment rate in July 2009 stood at 6.3 percent, up 0.3% against the previous month and up 2.7% against the same month of 2008, according to data supplied by the Labor Force Occupancy Agency (ANOFM).

The number of unemployed at the end of July was 572,562, up 23,632 people against June.

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