Labor market and education
The companies that choose Plovdiv as an investment destination have access to human capital, consisting of many well-trained workers and specialists, with the potential to create added value for various sectors of manufacturing and services.
The labor market in Plovdiv has been stronger than most other regions in Bulgaria since the beginning of the global economic crisis. Plovdiv has a well-developed services sector with more than 79 600 employees, which adds to the concentration of production in the region. The service sector in Plovdiv is closely related to the local industry and provides a full range of high quality services related to the activity of manufacturing enterprises. About half of all employees in the service sector work in the retail industry. More than 11 400 workers are employed in the construction sector. Plovdiv also stands out with one of the most developed business services sectors in Bulgaria. In addition, more than 49 800 people are employed in the fast-growing IT and professional services sectors, accounting for a significant percentage of all jobs in the sector.
In order to meet the needs of the businesses, Plovdiv’s workforce is diversified with people possessing a wide variety of qualifications and skills. There are about 40 000 people employed in the administrative, analytical and management sectors. Plovdiv employs nearly 18 420 technicians, 27 442 skilled industrial workers and 35 929 machine operators (2017 data). The workforce is specialized, but easily adapts to other segments of industrial production.
Structure of the local economy according to the number of jobs:
(NSI data on district level, 2018)
The educational system in Plovdiv is well developed, preparing many students in technical and applied disciplines, which has contributed to the establishment of the region as a major industrial center in Bulgaria. Plovdiv has been established as a leading university area of national importance, second only to the capital Sofia. There are 9 universities and colleges in Plovdiv with almost 34 000 students, 78 vocational training centers and 29 vocational high schools. In 2019, there were 4 700 high school graduates, 2 200 of them from vocational high schools. In addition, the number of college and university graduates is 7 400.
Plovdiv is home to one of the largest universities in Bulgaria – Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”, which, along with a number of humanities and business sciences, also prepares students in mathematics, computer science, physics and chemistry. In addition, the branch of the Technical University – Sofia in Plovdiv offers majors divided into 2 faculties: “Faculty of Electronics and Automation” and “Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Instrument Engineering”. The city is also home to one of the largest and most reputable medical universities, where the number of students for the academic year 2019/2020 was 6,400, almost half of them foreigners. There are two unique universities in the city of Plovdiv: The Agrarian University and the University of Food Technology, which provide specialists for the vibrant food industry. Plovdiv also has an Academy of Arts, as well as two economics and management colleges that prepare students for supportive, analytical and managerial positions.
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