UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS SHRINKING
The Employment Agency approved a graphic sign for the programme called From Relief Funds to Employment after organising a competition and examining 32 proposals. The logo will be placed on printed matters related to the programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Ivan Nikolov Ivanov from Double T graphic studio is the author of the selected logo. He was awarded BGN2,000.The average number of unemployed people per month in the first half of the year 2003 is 571,174, the agency reported. Compared to the same period of 2002, there are 104,183 fewer unemployed people now. According to Tsveta Nanyova, Employment Agency Executive Director, the 2003 lower unemployment rate is due to the newly-opened jobs in the private sector of the economy, the fewer dismissals, and the significant amount of people employed under special employment programmes of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The average number of new jobless claims for the first half of the year is 16,433 per month. Still, about 75% of the newly-registered unemployed come from the private sector.The number of continuously unemployed people (those who haven't had a job for over a year) has fallen by 36,875 to 300,585 per month in the first half of 2003. There is a downward trend in unemployment among people younger than 29 years, which now stands at 28 per cent.There are still a lot of vacant jobs. Their number was 18,521 in June with 4,000 of them being vacant for more than a month. Among the reasons are both unsuitable applicants and unfavourable labour conditions on the openings that search for unskilled workers and offer a low remuneration. Through its qualification and motivation programmes the Employment Agency is trying to reduce the discrepancy between the employers' requirements and the openings.