The International Labour Office calculated the unemployment rate to amount to 7.5% at the end of last year's fourth quarter, up fro 6.8%, the figure for Q3 2009 and 5.8% in Q2, according to the data received today from the Romanian National Statistics Institute (INS). The highest unemployment rate per category was recorded in persons between 15 and 24 years old, namely 20%.

According to INS data, unemployment was 1.4% bigger in men than in women: 8.1% in men and 6.7% in women. Statistics also show that the unemployment in the urban area was 8.9% in Q4, while in the rural area it recorded 5.8%.

INS data indicate that the unemployment rate in Q4 2009 was close to the figures released by BIM, namely 7.1% in October, 7.5% in November and 7.8% in December last year. The two statistics are not comparable because of the reference timeline and different inclusion criteria, INS goes on. The INS calculates the quarterly unemployment using a BMI formula. The BMI results are achieved through statistical research and a household survey, indicating the number of active and redundant individuals. The recorded unemployment is calculated monthly by the Romanian National Employment Agency.

The employment rate dropped to 57.4%

The employment rate, which considers persons aged 15 to 64, has dropped to 57.4%, lower than Q4 2008 (-0.9%), and lower than Q3 2008 (-3%). The figures in men were higher than in women: 64% vs. 50.8%, while employment in the rural area read 58.8% vs. 56.4% in the urban area. Youth employment rate was 23.5%.

The employment rate for persons aged 24 to 64 was 62.2%, 12.8 percents away from the 75% target proposed by the Europe Strategy 2010 project.

In Q4 last year, Romania's active population counted 9.75 people, out of which 9.02 millions were hired and 731,000 were unemployed.

According to BIM standards, an unemployed is a person between 15 and 74 years of age that does not have a job, are ready to start working within two weeks, and has been actively seeking work anytime during the last four weeks.