Unemployment Map (2016)
The recovery of the labor market continued in 2016 although at a slower pace compared to 2015. The improvement is clearly visible not only at district, but also at municipal level, especially with regard to the increasing number of municipalities with relatively low unemployment rate.
According to data from the Employment agency, which the Institute for market economics requested and received, there are already 16 municipalities in which the unemployment rate is below 5% (in dark blue on the map) and another 75 municipalities in which the rate is below 10% (in light blue on the map). In 2013 when the labor market crisis is at its peak the number of those municipalities was 3 and 41 respectively.
In parallel with the overall favorable trends there is also a stable high rate of unemployment in many territories. Even in 2016 there are 10 municipalities in which the unemployment rate is above 50% as well as another 56 municipalities in which the rate varies from 25% to 50%. Although, there is a decline compared to the rates of 2013, the situation in a lot of the municipalities in those two groups is similar to the levels of 2011 which means that there has not been a significant improvement of the economic situation in most parts in our country.
On regional level there is faster improvement in the Southern part of the country - compact groups of municipalities with low unemployment rates are observed near the capital city, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Burgas. In Northern Bulgaria such regions are Sevlievo-Gabrovo-Veliko Turnovo and Varna-Dobrich.
Additionally to the regional centers, excluding Vidin, unemployment rate below 10% in Northeastern Bulgaria is observed only in municipalities in Troyan and Apriltsi. Despite the presence of number of municipalities with low unemployment rate in the Northeastern part of Bulgaria, there are also groups of neighboring municipalities with very high rate of unemployment.
The data from the Employment agency show that in the country there are many municipalities that are still bypassed by the overall improvement of the economic situation in the country at least as far as the notable positive effects on the labor market are concerned. Among the reasons for that are weak business activity in neighboring municipalities as well as comparatively low labor mobility of the population in the mentioned regions and also because of problems with the qualification and educational level of the working population.