Bulgaria's Labor Force Could Grow by 2020 - Forecast

Business | December 16, 2011, Friday // 20:40|  views

Bulgaria's birth rate has declined since 1990, including among the Roma whose families usually have several children. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's labor force could grow slightly by 2020 regardless of the outflow of qualified labor, according to one of two most forecasts developed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Thus, according to scientists from the BSA Institute for Human and Population Research, who spoke at a news conference in Sofia Friday, Bulgaria's labor force stands a chance of seeing improvement even though the brain drain is likely to continue.

The first forecast developed by the BSA predicts that Bulgaria's labor force could decline from 3.3 million in 2005 to 2.9 million in 2020 if the present level of economic activity is maintained.

The more optimistic scenario says that Bulgaria's labor force could grow from 3.3 million to 3.5 million in 2020, which is conditional on the realization of a number of labor market programs that can bring a balance into the supply and demand for various professions.

One of the case studies presented by the BSA scientists shows that Bulgaria's two-children family model that was established during the communist period has largely persisted after 1990.

According to Prof. Elitsa Dimitrova, the ethnic affiliation and education level are the major factors influencing the number of children a woman in Bulgaria would give birth to.

"The trend for a higher birth rate among the Roma women than among the ethnic Bulgarian women is largely preserved. However, the birthrate of the Roma community in Bulgaria has also declined after 1990," Dimitrova stated.

She explained the low birth rate in Bulgaria with the economic insecurity, the growing unemployment, and the lack of special policies to support working mothers.

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Tags: Labor Force, labor market, brain drain, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Institute for Human and Population Studies, demographic crisis, demographics, Birth rate, Roma


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