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Bulgaria will need to import workers due to emigration, ageing

Staff writer |
Bulgaria will need to import workers to make up for a labour force shortage in many sectors of its economy, Darik radio station has reported, citing official data.

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A recent survey conducted by the Economic Research Institute with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has also shown that workforce is increasingly leaving Bulgaria due to low incomes.

Workers’ earnings in Bulgaria could reach half of the EU-28 average no earlier than 2030, Darik quoted Prof. Iskra Beleva from the Economic Research Institute as saying at a news conference, presenting the findings of the survey on Monday.

Low pay compared to other EU countries will inevitably lead to import of labour force due to the ageing of the population and outbound migration, according to Beleva.

“Our computer industry alone lacks a significant number of workers; I recently heard that our automotive industry needs 20,000 workers, and this is a sector making products that are advanced in terms of technology,” Beleva said, according to Darik.

“These sectors feel the constraints of the labour force shortage,” Beleva added.

Remittances sent by Bulgarians working abroad to their relatives in the country increased to BGN 1.3 B last year from BGN 600 M in 2007, when Bulgaria joined the EU, and BGN 300 M in 2000, according to official data presented at the news conference.

Yet, just a small portion of the remittances was invested in creating new businesses in Bulgaria and the opening of new jobs that could foster growth, with most of the money being channeled into household consumption, according to the survey, Darik said.

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