The annual data of the National Statistics Institute about the development of the labour market in the fall of 2017 supports the preliminary assessments for continuing improvement of the big parts of the country. Besides the record coefficient of employment of 66,9% on a national level, for the first time in the country, none of the regions has employment level less than 55%, for the age between 15-64.
Despite the positive news, some of the established regional differences still are clearly visible. The increase of employment level in 2017 compared to 2016 is concentrated mainly in the southern part of the country, as for every four new working places being created; only one is created north of the Balkan Mountains.
The biggest absolute growth of employed is observed in Plovdiv region (thirty-three thousands people), followed by Stara Zagora region and the capital (both with sixteen thousands people) and the biggest decrease is in Haskovo region (two thousand people less), Gabrovo (one and a half thousands people less). The employment coefficient of the population aged between 16-64 is increasing almost in every region, with exception of Gabrovo and Vidin, where there is a slight decrease; without significant changes of the coefficient remain Varna and Sliven.
Despite the evident results in 2017, it is obvious, that the labour market in some of the regions of the country continues to have problems. Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Lovech, Razgrad and Sliven are not only the regions with lower employment coefficient, but also they have not achieved the employment levels before the crisis. To this group we can also add Silistra, with the reservation that the registered level of employment 57%, being among the lowest in the country, is, in fact, a record for the region.
The picture gives an opportunity to trace processes in the years back, from 2008 to the present. It shows that even that there are no regions in the country “marked in red” (showing employment level under 55 % of active population), the whole picture of “concentrated south” and “pale north” is still valid.