Bulgarian Labour market in the context of EU membership

Bulgaria’s membership in the EU has changed the economic and social environment for labor market development in Bulgaria. This membership leads to many new opportunities and challenges, but also problems that have to be solved by the Bulgarian labor market.

The opportunities for reaching the average parameters of the European labor market are connected with some changes in the Bulgarian labor market policy which implementation will improve the efficiency of the labor market in Bulgaria.

During the last 20 years, there have been remarkable changes in Bulgarian economy. The country accomplished the transition from central planned to market economy and on January 1, 2007 became a member of the European Union. These changes were very important for the Bulgarian labour market and its development.

The analysis of the labour market must start with the population and its demographic characteristics. From an economic point of view the total population and its structure has a major contribution in order to determine the size and structure of the labour force. The population of Bulgaria is in a continuous and slow process of decrease from the beginning of the 1990s. This fact is due to the natural growth that is negative (Figure-1) especially because of the low birth rate and on the other hand because of the external migration. Data points out the following:

  • • In the period 1990-2008 the Bulgarian population has been reduced by 12.3% (1 062 718 people).

• The Bulgarian population amounts to 7 606 551 people in 2008. According to the National Statistical Institute predictions, the population of our country will reach 6.9 million people in 2025 and 5.8 million people in 2050.

The outlined negative demographic processes lead to an accelerated ageing of the population and limit the possibilities for its “renovation” and extended reproduction on the labour market.

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