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Dec 10, 2007 15:37 EEST
SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 10 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria’s average unemployment rate is expected to fall to some 8.0% this year, below plan and down from 9.61% last year, Labour and Social Policy Minister Emilia Maslarova said on Monday.
“For the entire year, I am more than sure that the average unemployment rate will be around eight percent,” Maslarova told SeeNews. The government's Employment Agency is expected to release November'07 unemployment rate figure in the second half of December.
The government in Sofia has said it will spend 190 million levs ($142 million/97 million euro) in 2007 under a national action plan aimed at cutting unemployment rate below 9.0%. It has set an unemployment rate target of 8.0% for 2009.
Bulgaria's October unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 6.73% from 6.78% a month earlier. The average annual unemployment rate in Bulgaria fell to 9.61% in 2006 from 11.46% in 2005. “We do not expect a rise in unemployment rate by the end of the year, as we have a sustained trend of falling unemployment,” Maslarova said.
“Bulgaria needs more labour force and it will soon turn into a country seeking labour force, from a donor country,” Maslarova added but declined to forecast what the unemployment rate in 2008 will be.
The country of 7.7 million people joined the European Union in January.
(1 euro=1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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