BUCHAREST, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Romania's unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in December from 4.1 percent the previous month, the employment agency said on Monday.
In December 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.
Romania is struggling with a growing shortage of workers mainly in the construction and manufacturing sectors, as people seek better pay abroad.
Low unemployment and a race to catch up with European Union standards have put pressure on Romania's labour market, forcing employers into double-digit wage hikes in recent years, fuelling inflationary pressures.
However, over the last months, several major industrial companies have announced job cuts as the global financial crisis eats into demand.Analysts say many people who are unemployed are not reflected in the official figures because of long-term structural unemployment in rural areas.
DEC '08 NOV '08 DEC '07
Number of unemployed 403,441 376,971 367,838
Jobless rate 4.4 4.1 4.1*