The number of employees working in Romania's private sector went up by 12% in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the Smartree Workforce Index, an analysis by Smartree, one of the leaders on the Romanian market of outsourcing of HR processes. The index also shows that total employee wage increased last year by 7% compared to 2016, and the state of the economy improved by a similar percentage of 7% over the same period.
"Last year was a good one for the Romanian economy from the employment perspective, with an increase in the number of employees at national level. This was based on the opening of offices, logistics centers, factories and new production units by foreign investors in our country, as well as an expansion of operations of companies already present in Romania”said Adrian Stanciu, Smartree CEO.“ In addition to the difficulties encountered in recruitment process, employers still faced the challenge of maintaining good employee retention, and many companies were forced to raise wages or improve the bonus system, Stanciu added.
In 2017, more and more employers adapted to the needs of their employees and, according to Smartree statistics they increased the extra salary benefits on average by 11% compared to 2016. The largest increase of 24% was registered in the second quarter of 2017, followed by an increase of 10% on average over the next six months.
Hiring has been recorded in all areas of activity, mainly in telecommunications, financial services, audit and consulting, pharma, automotive components production, business process outsourcing services, software development, digital services and IT consultancy. The growth trend in the number of employees was based mainly on the favourable macroeconomic climate, namely the economic growth registered during the last year. This increase was also reflected in the unemployment rate, which reached the historical minimum in recent years.
"We notice that more and more companies are making efforts to maintain high retention and motivate their employees to be effective at work. Thus, in addition to traditional benefits such as meal vouchers, medical subscriptions, or bonuses offered at special events, employers are moving towards a wider variety of methods, including shaping a stronger employer brand by exploiting the strengths of their own organization, " Stanciu said.
Employee welfare increased by 7% in 2017: The positive evolution of the bonus system can be seen in the increase in the employee welfare index, which increased by 7% over the previous year, according to Smartree statistics. The index takes into account the situation of holidays in the market and of medical leave. The number of days of holiday leave was up 4%over the period, while the number of days of sick leave taken by employees increased by 5%.
Unemployment rate at record low: Romania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in December 2017, from 4.7 percent in the previous month. The number of unemployed went down by 8.56 thousand to 434.58 thousand. The unemployment rate for men decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 percent, while that for women dropped 0.1 percentage points to 3.6 percent. A year earlier, the jobless rate was recorded at 5.5 percent. Unemployment Rate in Romania averaged 6.66 percent from 2004 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 8.60 percent in January of 2004 and a record low of 4.60 percent in December of 2017 according to Trading Economics.
In December 2017, the average gross nominal earnings were 3662 lei, by 6.8% higher than the one registered in November 2017, according to data by the National Statistics Institute (INS). As compared to December of 2016, the average net nominal earnings increased by 11.7%.