Thursday, September 10, 2009

Romania July unemployment rate rises to 6.6 pct

BUCHAREST, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Romania's unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in August from July's 6.3 percent, the employment agency said on Wednesday.

Dwindling demand from the euro zone has hurt central and eastern European economies in recent months, forcing many companies to trim output and lay off workers.Moreover, the centre-left government needs to make deep spending cuts to curb Romania's large imbalances bloated by lavish spending by the previous cabinet, especially since the country secured 20 billion euros in IMF-led aid in March.

This will also mean a restructuring of the country's inefficient public sector, which employs about a third of Romania's workforce.However, Labour Minister Marian Sarbu said in May that unemployment should rise less than previously expected this year, reaching no more than 7 percent or 620,000 people as the country's economic downturn shows signs of tempering.

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