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de Mariana Bechir 1.5.2017

At the end of 2016, there were 4,763 million employees in Romania with permanent, full-time contracts, according to the data from the Ministry of Labour.

If the expanding employment pace maintains, in 2017 we will reach the record of the last 18 years, registered in July 2008 – 4,833 million employees.

Even with this record level, Romania remains though, by far, the EU country with the lowest share of employees in the total population and the active population.

According to the Ministry of Labour data (collected from the REVISAL system), there were 5,761 permanent contracts in December last year, of which 4,763,323 were full-time.

That, for an active population of almost nine million people.

Labour statistics in Romania :


  • Active population – 8.979 million people
  • Employed population – 8.449 million people              Unemployed – 530,000
  • Employees – 6.201 million people                             Other categories – 2,248 million people
  • Manufacturing industry and construction – 2.3 million people           Services –  3.7 million             Agriculture – 194,000


According to the latest INS data, last year, there were 6,201 million employees in Romania and 2,248 million people from other employed categories with the following important mention:

  • Employees category includes military and related staff and people from the informal and black labour market
  • Other categories of employed persons are: entrepreneurs, self-employed workers, unpaid family workers and people working in agricultural companies or non-agricultural cooperatives

Ministry of Labour recently provided details, excluding the informal work, based on the data from the REVISAL system:

  • Active employees at the end of 2016 – 5,478,666 persons
  • They represented 6,239,167 employment contracts
  • 5,761,188 contracts were permanent
  • Out of the permanent contracts, 4,763,323 were full-time
  • 477,979 contracts were on a fixed period, and more than two-thirds of these (346,181) were full-time contracts

Number of employees, close to last 18 years’ record

Based on the INS data, which is somehow different from those from REVISAL, and taking into account the forecasts of the business environment, this year Romania will exceed the threshold of 4.8 million employees, reached in July 2008, before our country was also affected by the financial crisis.

In 1990, when the communist regime collapsed, there were over 8 million employees:


  • Evolution in number of employees


The ratio between the private and state sector is though more favourable now, when out of the 4.7 million employees, about 1.2 million are state employees and 3.5 million work in the real economy. In 2008, there were 1.4 million employees in the public system.

Of the 3.58 million people employed in the real economy, nearly 400,000 work in state-owned or public-private joint companies.

There are 3 million employees left in the exclusively private sector, of which, the main trade union confederations draw attention, almost 2 million are paid with the minimum national wage or slightly above this level.

Romania, the only EU country with less than 20 employees per 100 inhabitants

The latest Eurostat data on the number of employees in the EU is from 2014 and they show that Romania was then the only member state with less than 20 employees per 100 inhabitants.

Only Greece was close to this threshold, with a ratio of 20.24. Even the neighbouring countries, Bulgaria and Hungary, were far above Romania, with ratios of 26.06 and 25.03 respectively.

According to the Eurostat methodology, the number of salary beneficiaries includes not only the employees, but also family workers and other categories, but not the temporary workers. Romania has anyway the lowest share of temporary workers in the total number of employees, of 1%, compared to the average of over 11% at the EU level.

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