37% of All Bulgarians Wish to Work Abroad - PollBulgaria in EU | August 30, 2012, Thursday // 14:40| views
The trend of more and more Bulgarians wanting to work abroad is attributed to growing unemployment, low living standard and wages. File photo
The number of Bulgarians who wish to find work abroad continues to be on the rise and has reached 37%.
Of them, 60% have no intentions to return back to the homeland, against 35% who would come back, according to a study commissioned by the Confederation of Labor Podkrepa (Support) trade union under the project "Podkrepa for Dignified Work," which was presented Thursday.
Two polls have been conducted in the frame of the project – in 2011 and in 2012, among 1 273 respondents, of whom 52% were men, 48% women, slightly under 50% had college degrees, while 38% had high school diplomas.
In 2011, 33% of the polled stated they would go abroad to work there, in 2012 the percentage has grown to 37%.
Sociology experts attribute the trend to growing unemployment, low living standard and wages.
The top destinations are Greece, despite the crisis, with 34% of the respondents, and Italy, also with 34%, followed by Great Britain (32% of the respondents), Germany (24%), and Spain (20%).
Factors limiting the mobility of Bulgarian labor force are restrictions for accessing the labor markets of some EU Member States and frequent scams on the part of private job finding agencies and employers.
76% of the respondents say the Bulgarian labor unions must sign with counterpart organizations abroad bilateral contracts, guaranteeing workers' rights. 85% believe there is a need to open special consulting bureaus for those who wish to find jobs abroad.
According to data of Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, and Bulgaria's National Statistics Institute, anywhere between 20 000 and 25 000 Bulgarians, ages 25-39, leave the country each year.
An estimated 1.2 million Bulgarians live abroad. 320 000 are in the US, Canada and Australia, 360 000 – in Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, 300 000 – in Turkey, and 290 000 – in Greece and Cyprus.
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