Labor market information in the Romania-Bulgaria cross-border area

1. General data about the employment and unemployment in the cross-border area Romania-Bulgaria

Unemployment in the areas of the Romanian part of the cross-border region is lower than unemployment in the respective regions of Bulgaria. According to the latest data (June, 2019), unemployment in Dobrich is the lowest among Bulgaria's regions (5.3%), while the highest is in Montana (12%). Romanian record holders are Constanta with the lowest unemployment (1.9%) and Dolj - with the highest (6.9%).

Most Bulgarian regions sharply change the direction or rate of unemployment almost every year, while for Romanian regions this process is smoother. Dobrich (5.3%), Veliko Tarnovo (5.4%) and Ruse (5.7%) have a lower unemployment rate than the national average (5.8%). The unemployment rate in Ruse is about the average for the country. All other Bulgarian border regions have higher unemployment.

In the Romanian regions, such large amplitudes in the unemployment rate are not observed throughout the years, as in the Bulgarian ones. Differences between individual areas are also smaller than in Bulgaria. Constanta (1.9%) and Giurgiu (2.2%) have a lower unemployment rate than the average for the country (3%). The highest unemployment rate is in Dolj County (6.9%).

Most of the Bulgarian cross-border regions have an employment rate that is lower than the average for the country (67.7%). Only Ruse has the same value.

Almost all Romanian cross-border regions have an employment rate, which is lower than the average for the country 2018 (68.7%). Teleorman has the same value.

2. Level of wages in Bulgaria and Romania

The average monthly wage in Bulgaria during June of 2019 is BGN 1253 (640.66 euro), and in Romania - RON 5127 (1079 euro) according to data from the National Statistical Institutes. The wages in both neighboring countries are highest in the IT sector, where there is constant hunger for specialists, while the lowest wages are in the „Hospitality and restaurants“ sector.

In Bulgaria, in June of 2019, high salaries are recorded also in "Creation and dissemination of information and creative products" (BGN 3274 or 1674 euro), „Financial and insurance activities“ (BGN 2096 or 1071.68 euro) „Production and distribution of electricity, heat and gaseous fuels“ (BGN 2072 or 1059.41 euro).

The highest wages in Bulgaria are in Sofia, also being the only ones which are above the country's average. The lowest wages are in the districts of Vidin (part of the cross-border area), Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil.

In Romania, the highest salary is in Bucharest, followed by Cluj, Ilfov and Sibiu. The average net salary has increased the most in Arges, most likely due to employment in the sector of automotive parts and equipment. The lowest wages are in the counties of Teleorman (part of the cross-border region), Yalomita, Braila and Harghita.

The table shows the level of wages in the cross-border region for June 2019 compared with the average for the country and the highest, which was recorded in the capitals of both countries.


Information about the most wanted professions


1. Wanted professions in Bulgaria

  • Qualified workers (welders, carpenters, masons, mechanics etc.);
  • Engineers;
  • Personnel in trade, hospitality and restaurants;
  • Tailors;
  • Drivers, couriers;
  • Doctors, other health workers;
  • Teachers;
  • Workers, operators of special machines;
  • IT specialists;
  • Construction workers.


2. Wanted professions in Romania

  • Non-qualified workers in the processing industry;
  • Personnel in the trade sector;
  • IT specialists;
  • Non-qualified construction workers;
  • Drivers;
  • Welders, mechanics and other manufacturing jobs;
  • Warehouse workers;
  • Tailors.


3. Information on attitudes towards and expectations from labor mobility

We, from the VISA Agency, conducted a study (in 2017) about the Bulgarian and Romanian businesses' needs of personnel and the companies' attitude towards cross-border labor mobility, as we asked 150 companies, and reached the following general conclusions:

  • Both the Bulgarian and Romanian cross-border companies are, as a whole, optimists for the development of their business; 60-70% of them plan to hire new people.
  • Bulgarian companies are more active on the Romanian market, but are pessimists about part of their employees being from Romania. Romanian companies are more welcoming about the idea of hiring Bulgarian workers.
  • Nearly 85% of the surveyed people do not know the conditions, under which they can employ citizens on the other side of the Danube.
  • The main obstacles before the hiring of foreign citizens (Bulgarians/Romanians respectively) are the language barrier, the difficulties in finding suitable personnel and high expectation for wages.
  • Romanian and Bulgarian companies need consultations for finding suitable personnel, information on legislative procedures, specialised training courses.
  • The most wanted in Bulgaria and Romania are: workers in trade, drivers, tailors, engineers, welders, mechanics, construction workers, IT specialists. 
  • Expereince, skills, qualifications and language proficiency are among the main requirements towards potential job applicants from the neighboring country. For Romanian companies, the availability of state aid is also important.

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