Demographic Processes and Labour Force in Bulgaria

 27-28 May 2008, Sofia


Wellcoming Addresses


Preliminary session


Section “Population Natural Movement and Labour Force”


Section “Regional Distribution and Labour Force Mobility”


Section “Labour Market and Labour Force Quality”


Demographic Aspects of Labour Force Reproduction in Bulgaria

 Kremena Borissova - Marinova


The most topical problems arising from the recent situation and the evolution of the Bulgarian labour force were discussed in the report. The analysis covers the period of 1996-2006, i.e. a decade when the labour force and the labour market in the country underwent significant transformations and changes. The problems laid out in the report turn to become a real trial for the future of country's economy and a field of strong competition among the developed countries. The socio - economic development of Bulgaria over the next few decades will largely depend on the quality and the timeliness of the solutions adopted.

In order to outline the relation between the demographic system and the labour force reproduction, a theoretical model of the main groups of determinants impacting on the labour force reproduction was presented. The results of the analysis of the basic demographic processes which have a direct influence on the labour force formation, i.e. working-age population mortality, disablement, migration and refusal from economic activity due to personal and family reasons, were enounced. An overall estimation of the labour force reproduction was made encompassing indices related to the quantitative reproduction of the total labour force, of its age, sex and regional structures. The results of a comparative analysis of the general rates of labour force reproduction in Bulgaria and the other European countries were presented. As the focus was placed on the summary aspects of labour force reproduction in Bulgaria, some recommendations meant to perform a more complex estimation of the labour force situation were made.


The Challenges of the Bulgarian Labor Market:  Demographic Evolution and Economics of Knowledge

 Katya Vladimirova


The study concerns the Bulgarian labor market experiencing structural conversion from the market of supply to market of demand for labor force of higher education and professional training and vocation, being initially a market of supply of black color workers with low education and qualification.

The driving demographic force for structural age changes are considered as a reason for lack of work force, as far as the economic active population falls down in favor of the age population in retirement while the birth rate is almost twice less than the mortality rate,  the emigrants flows exceed about a million or 10 % of population as annual rate for the transition period.

The solution according to the author is in the advance and sustainable economic growth on the bas is of the new technology and high quality of human resources, education and longlife programs as well as in involving of elderly in work according to the Lisbon Strategy of the EC. The priority dimension concerns the increased labor productivity and good health conditions, better way of life, based on the European model of social security by ethnical generations and gender tolerance and respect. The relations between the economic and social development are tied decisively by the education, knowledge and professional competency. The responsible institutions are to account for this relation in policy making and to follow the national strategy of economic and population development, including the labor force and demographic reproduction. One of the main issues is the adjustment of the social insurance system according to the new challenges, the rational labor organization, highering the competitiveness of national economy and stimulating labor market and plans of action regarding employment, health care, education and  occupation of the old population. Their incomes are also priorities in the strategy of development.

The Bulgarian state is in position to face the serious challenge of the demographic trap and reshaping of the labor market by tracing its development within the European family, unifying the effort of all  the government institutions, business and the population itself.


Stratified Fertility Profile in Bulgaria and Deficit of Socialized and Integrated Labor Force

 Michail Mirchev


The contemporary demographic crisis in Bulgaria (defined as “demographic decline” in the Green Paper of the European Commission, March 2005) has its clearly demonstrated quantitative and qualitative parameters.

The basic and structure defining quantitative parameters could be synthesized as follows: (1) a rapid fall of population growth; (2) a fast rising of the median age and the aging of population as a total as well as the polarization of the population by age of some regions in the country; (3) the coefficients of demographic substitution and demographic and working loading are going to critical rates; (4) there is a sharp destabilization of family-marital relationships; (5) the rate of the morbidity of people is going high as well as there is a cumulating mass of people with low or problematic capacity for living, working, ability for full of value reproduction.

The quantitative parameters of the demographic decline in Bulgaria in the last 15-18 years have a clearly differentiated stratification profile.

The elites and upper middle classes are reproducing their quantity and the basic elements of their human capital relatively well.

On the contrary, throughout the middle and lower substrata of middle stratum, we can witness an extremely fast and distressing, plugging up economy and deforming social structure, contraction and collapse. Here the birth rate is falling down in the greatest extent  both at subjective level as dispositions as well as at objective one as a living reality. The largest mass of emigrants and those who stay to live abroad is from these social classes. The picture of the demographic decline in the field of the middle classes in the last 15 years has been looking like a cumulating demographic catastrophe.

The lower socialized strata  of working, clerks, agricultural and services workers have also a relatively good level of demographic reproduction, while experiencing decreasing quality of education, primitive manner of culture, cumulating of unemployment and as - sociality.

In the zone of the utmost poverty (“absolute”, “misery”, under the estimated levels of poverty), the birth rate is several times higher. In most cases this fertility is pumping the total fertility  and the birth rate in Bulgaria.  From the other side it increases the share of children and young people who are squeezed by the surrounding and deforming poverty, by mass illiteracy and mass asociality. 

Among the educated communities and middle classes the age of the first birth giving is getting higher. It is the so called “postponed fertility” when the first birth giving is happening around and after woman's 30's. On the contrary, the lowest and marginal classes have mass “early child and teen-age” fertility. Thus the birth rate is not only different in terms of quantity, but there is an overtaking  with a whole generation  of the low status fertility in front of middle and high status fertility.

Bulgarian economy needs qualitative labor force - educated and qualified, cultural and well behaved, socialized and integrated. This is the qualitative side of the direct connection between the demographic processes and the ascending or plugged up perspective for our economy. 



Family Values in the  Context of the Human Resources Fomation

 Vartanoush Karagyozyan


The Bulgarian economy faces a strong scarcity of human resources - both quantitative and as quality and performance. This is due to the cumulative negative effects of the transition of our society from communism towards democracy and market economy, especially to the dramatic demographic crisis, which sharpened extremely after 1989. The generation that bears the main and critical burden since the very beginning of the social, political and economic reforms is the same generation that raises the first generation born after 1989 and is responsible for building the competitive quality of the Bulgarian human resources in the framework of the European Union. This makes the role of today's parents crucial for the changes they are expected to make in their own life transitions from egalitarian to liberal and competitive individual strategies, as well as in helping their children to develop new skills, knowledge and capacity, market values and norms, new and successful patterns of economic behaviour in order to prepare the future human resources of the economy for the realities of the modern world. As our experience for the last 20 years has shown, the processes of economic and social reforms are producing a  contradictive environment for the elaboration of economically successful and socially responsible behavioral strategies. Due to the deep crisis of social and systematic integration, the society and the individuals have been longly  subject to critical lack of values and norms to support the system of social regulation in ways that give clear orientation to the individual actions. This makes the economic and social behaviour of the “losing” groups highly problematic and ambivalent in what concerns the complexity of the roles they have in and out of the family. The effective fulfillment of the role of parents is based on value rationality, while the successful individual economic behaviour is determined by instrumental rationality. The resulting dualism of parental roles is combined with the impossibility of the majority of the “loosers” of the transition to overcome the old egalitarian values, attitudes and norms. This new challenge of combining in-group and out - group behaviour with an adequate parental role in the education of the new generation of human resources in the spirit of the market values and norms seems to be impossible for the majority of the generation between 40 and 50 years old. Data from empirical survey, conducted in the 2006/ 2007 school year among secondary school graduates in the city of Varna provide evidence for extremely close value hierarchies between parents and children. This allows the conclusion, that both older, but economically most active generation and their grown  up children are still in the making of their value transitions towards modern market values.


Transition to the “Postponement of Childbearing” - Trends and Impact on the Labor Force Reproduction

 Stanislava Nikolova


The author presents, starting from the theoretical conception of low fertility trap the model of reproductive behavior of the country, already achieving the non-convertible process of transition to the “postponement of childbearing”. The aim is to prove its existence and negative consequences by the empirical data of population development during the period of 1989-2006. The time series of ageing and low fertility rate are analyzed. It is stressed on the evidences of the postponement and fewer births in Europe, and particularly in Bulgaria. The postponement of childbearing is studied by the tempo-adjusted period parity progression measures and the index analyses. The estimations indicate 780th “missing births” throughout the mentioned period, due to the three driving forces: tempo effects in fertility decline, rising of the mean age at birth, changes in generation size of the women in fertility age and female structural change by age and parity.

The common trend of fertility decline and lowing of the population growth rate is prerequisite of worsening of the age structure and quality of the labor force and hence of the economic growth. The conclusions stress on the necessity of relevant policy and efficient undertakings for the sake of avoiding the collapse of both  demographic dimention and social crises.


Romany Employment Specifics

 Alexey Pamporov


The present paper focuses on the employment specifics of the Roma population living in Bulgaria. The estimates are based on the outcome of two sample surveys: 1) Multisided household survey (April-June, 2007) performed by the World Bank, Open Society Institute of Sofia and BBSS Gallup comprising 12 212 persons with additional Roma booster of 2564 persons and 2) Health status of Roma in Bulgaria (October-November, 2007) executed by the Open Society Institute  of Sofia consisting 1737 Roma households.

There are several findings relevant to the Romany employment. First of all, the employment rate of Roma is about 11-28% lower then the employment rate of the Bulgarians and about 15-18% lower then the employment rate of the Turks. The proportion of workers without a signed contract Roma is five times higher than that of the same category of Bulgarians. The share of Roma with a short-term contract is four times higher than the proportion of Bulgarians with similar employment status. The hidden unemployment rate among Roma exceeds the official unemployment rate. In the same time the proportion of employed in the underground economy Roma in 2007 is three times higher than in comparison with 1994. In fact the real employment rate among Roma is two times higher than the official employment rate.


Labor Occupation and Living Standard of Disabled People in Bulgaria

 Bozhidar Ivkov


The study concerns the most vulnerable social cathegory of people  - the disabled in Bulgaria. Using the data of a large case study in 2007 on social and demographic features obtained by random selected disabled group the most important indicators of their standard of living are analyzed: employment, household income, property, consumption. The basic issue indicates the deprivation as a fundamental strategy of surviving for the majority of the disabled people and their households and that their problems are a serious challenge for the social policy as well.



Impact of Some Demographic Characteristics on Expectations and Professional Intentions of Students of Economic Specialities

 Diana Boyanova


The goal of the present study was twofold: firstly to explore business students' expectations that their academic choice will ensure the achievement of some personal values, and secondly to find out the determinants of students' career intentions. The sample consisted of 106 first course university students. Among them 63.2 % were women and 36.8 % were men. The results from the study of significancy of differences by the Student`s t-test revealed that men and women had different expectations regarding their education, while they did not differ in terms of their career intentions. One-way Anova programme was employed to identify the influence of subjectively assessed social-economical status (SES) on the studied variables. The data showed that students with low and relatively low SES hold stronger expectations that the choice of business major will help them: to provide a better future for their children, to find easily an appropriate job and to do something related to their interests. Interestingly, students with high SES differed significantly when asked how strong their intention to choose exactly this major while considering different educational options has been. Finally, when parents' education was taken into account, only father's secondary education proved to influence students' intention to practice the chosen major after their graduation.


The Old-aged People as a Labor Resource in Development

 Genoveva Mihova, Penka Naydenova


 It is stated that the actual old-aged population is to be regarded not as a charge for the society, being assigned as people in pension sharing the current produced by the working population income. The first explanation of the authors comes from the fact that the old people being in economic active group for 30-40 previous years have had also invested in specialized pension funds. In addition  involved intensively in the labor force, responsible for restoration of the production after the Second World War contributed significantly to the economic growth being not less than 1/3 of the production factors. Therefore, the largest part of the yet functioning fixed capital, factories, buildings, homes are created by them facilitating by the way the new economically active generation. This argument is reasoned in the paper by the analyses of the rate and sources of growth 1950-2007 using the dynamic production function of the American scholar E. Denisson.  Further more, the attempt is made to prove that the early retirement in Bulgaria is a real source of capable work force, as far as many people in pension are of good health condition. A part of them are actually involved in the working labor force, and this is proved by its age distribution by sectors, another part is asking jobs or is engaged in the informal sector.

The main issue calls for the attention to the policy makers by the recommendation of the authors detailed analyses and methodology to be performed in response to the EC policy regarding long life learning program and the legal position of the old stratum to be clarified for the sake of recognition of their contribution in development and using the resources of the still good health old people with experience by improving social and labor market legislation.



Population Ageing and Labour Productivity

 Rossitsa Rangelova


Until now there is a lack of convincing proofs about the influence of the population ageing on labour productivity. According to the majority of the researchers ageing of the labour force would be influenced first of all by the quantity and quality of the employed and for this reason we should expect its negative impact on the technological progress and productivity. The discrepancy between labour demand and supply will  tense in the labour market.

An empirical study is presented in the paper using sensitivity tests. It is based on long-term projections (until 2050) of the size and distribution of the population in Bulgaria. According to all known projections (UNs, Eurostat, individual authors) for the country depopulation will continue and even deepen. The depopulation process will be accompanied by continuing ageing of population. An unfavourable change in the age structure in Bulgaria is expressed by the  considerable reduction of the working-age population.

For the purpose of the study a model of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is applied. It allows to calculate three versions up to 2050 assuming different rates of improvement of life expectancy - fast, middle and slow.

Basic findings are as follows: (1) There are differences in the produced product per employed (although not significant) according to the three versions of improvement of life expectancy at birth. (2) The faster improvement of life expectancy the smaller the economic results measured by labour productivity improvement, i.e. our study confirms the negative effect of the ageing population on labour productivity.


Projection on the populatin  of Bulgaria up to 2060

 Ivaylo Gavazki


A methodology needed for the development of population projections is prepared by the Eurostat Task force within the period of January-September 2007. Representatives from eight European countries have been engaged with it. The present paper shows a possible scenario for the future development of the Bulgarian population as a part of the European Union. The basic hypothesis is that socio-economic and cultural differences between the European countries gradually will decrease towards uniformity in the future. Thus the hypothesis is grounded that the values of main demographic characteristics gradually will become closer and homogeneous. Based on the discussions, 2150 is hypothetically pointed as a moment when full similarity between the countries will be reached. The pointed year is far enough in the future and is accepted in practice as “infinity point” into the mathematical models used. The projections horizon is up to 2060. The Starting point of the population projections is the country population at 31 December 2007 by sex and single ages from 0 to 100 and over years of age. The hypotheses are that the total fertility rate (TFR) will increase, but will remain under the replacement level. Decrease of the social-economic and cultural differences between the European countries will bring mortality levels closer to the levels existing in most developed countries. Suppositions are that the migration flows between the European countries will reach balance and net migration will tend to zero. Positive migration to the European Union is expected from other countries outside it. Projections of the demographic indicators up to 2060 are obtained through appropriate interpolation between their specific country values in 2007 and the homogeneous European values within the conditional moment of equality. Favorable trends and gradual improvement of fertility and mortality processes, both for men and women, as well as of international migration are expected within the period of 2008 - 2060.  TheTotal number of population is expected to decrease considerably due to the worsening of age structure. 


Natural Increase Features of the Bulgarian Muslims from  the  90th  of  the Twenth Century

 Nadezhda Ilieva, Georgi Bardarov


 Compared to the negatived population growth in Bulgaria  after the political and economic transformation since 1989, the settlements within the Mesta drainage basin, inhabited by Bulgarian Muslims maintain the highest natural increase. Under the influence of the Islamic religion their birth rate has remained relatively high reaching in some settlements the record level of 20‰. The younger age structure results in a lower death rate which is almost twice as low as the national average and has been stable during the whole period of investigation. On the basis of these demographic indicators the Mesta drainage basin can be outlined as the largest area in Bulgaria with total fertility rate greater than 2. The region embraces the two municipalities of Garmen and Satovcha which have the highest ever recorded natural increase in the country till the beginning of the XXI century. Considering the growing birth rate during the last 3-5 years and the improving economic situation after Bulgaria joined the EU a prediction can be made that in the near future the natural increase would follow a steady upward trend in the settlements within the Mesta drainage basin of compact Bulgarian muslims population.   



Partial Life Potential of Population of Selected Balkan Countries regarding  their Active-age Prospects

 Vasil Kovachev, Marta Sugareva


The article concerns the study of the partial life potential of the Balkan country's populations, whose social-economic transition period still proceeds at the beginning of the 21st century. This potential introduces two aspects of the subject matter:

- a longitudinal aspect of life potential of the active population in a fixed time and

-A cross-section aspect, that is directed to identify life potential to be experienced by the whole population in the borders of  a specific age interval defining the active age. The second case encompasses also this life potential of individuals who have not yet reached their active age.

The research area includes Albania, Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Croatia.

The ratio of life potential in person-years, experienced in the borders of active age to life potentials, experienced out of these borders is estimated as a combined indicator of “demographic pressure” for each of the countries. This indicator characterizes “the pressure” of non-active person-years over the average active person-years.


New Directions and Leading Trends in the Evolution of the International Labor Migration

 Valentina Makni


Transnationalism in the international labor migration, strengthening of the gender-aspects and the more and more acute triad of brain drain, brain gain and brain circulation in the context of the intensively globalizing world economy present a reason for outlining the main trends in the cross-border human mobility. Alterations of the migration flows' range and direction create a prerequisite for the formation of new migration systems. Changes in the structure of migration flows, and the reshaping of international migration from mainly political to predominantly economical, give priority to its main essence - human capital, as a supreme level of mobility on the way to building up a knowledge based economy and stable economic growth. The creation of an adequate and effective migration policy of all levels - national, regional, international is connected with balance, coherence and cooperation, so that an optimal net benefit is obtained both for the receiving and the sending countries, thus neutralizing the negative effects of the migration process for all its participants.


Regional Trends of Interindustry Movement of Employed  in Bulgaria during 1996 - 2005

 Dilyana Stefanova


Movement of the employed from one economic branch to another is a direct result of economic changes, i. e. in production, property, technology, consumption, prices, etc., which determine the redistribution of the employed between the economic sectors and branches. Therefore observing their changes in terms of employed number  in each sector of the economy, allows us to understand how the fields of labor supply change. This paper is a generalized analysis on the size of the employed by different production activities and services. Spatial discrepancies at a district level have been revealed, in terms of directions of movement, decrease and increase of employed, etc. The branch classifications are made by using the aggregated nomenclature A 17 of The National Classification of Economic Activities (NCEA) and applied to the time series for the period of 1996-2005. Using comparative analysis on the regional data, similarities and dissimilarities between the regions and the aggregates of the country as a whole, have been pointed out. As a result, three types of economic branches have been identified (according to the employees' movement trends) and analyzed: branches with decreasing number of employed throughout the country (all districts) and therefore matching the national pattern; branches with increasing number of employed in all districts; branches of diverse variations of the employed and therefore divided into three subtypes. The accent also falls on changes of employed of different economic branches on a district level. As a conclusion the need of monitoring the movement of employed between different economic branches has been underlined.


Geographic Characteristics and Perspectives of the Economically Active Population in Bulgaria

 Chavdar Mladenov, Emil Dimitrov


One of the main features of the demographic situation is the share of the economically active  population. The time series analysis provided in the article emphasises on the current state and the regional differences of the proportions. The municipalities in Bulgaria can be assigned to three major phases of demographic crisis. Each of them has its own specificity evaluated by the share of the economic active population. This paper deals with the specific features of municipalities being distributed by different phases or subphases of the demographic crisis. The determinants of the age structure closely related to the assigned phases and subphases, are also clarified. Estimates are made regarding perspective development of the economically active population during 2005-2025 by groups of municipalities. The paper offers conclusions and recommendations regarding labor and migration policy in Bulgaria.



Labour Market in Bulgaria and the Need for Immigration - Constraints and Possible Solutions

 Yasen Georgiev


The positive development of the Bulgarian economy in the last few years has been accompanied by increasing calls for liberalization of the labour market and labour force impact in Bulgaria on behalf of representatives of Bulgarian business, predominantly by the tourist and construction sector emphasizing on the need of “imported” labour force especially from third non-EU countries.

As a result of the unfavorable demographic development and the strong emigration processes, the lack of human resources in Bulgaria is considered as a key hindrance for maintaining the current rates of economic growth. Furthermore, the low level of unemployment at present, the foreign investments and the successful absorption of the EU funds, particularly in the field of the large infrastructure projects, enforce the necessity of attracting foreign labour force. 

Meanwhile, Bulgaria holds the last places in EU-27 while indicators like labour productivity and participation in life-long learning programs are considered. This proves the assertions that the existing labour resources are not properly used and that insufficient efforts are made concerning their use of full - value and supply at the labour market.

A  key issue of the future immigration policy of Bulgaria is also the demographic profile of the new immigrants and the possibilities for their integration in the Bulgarian society once they have settled in the country in order to avoid the problems of immigrants occurred in several West-European countries so far.


Transborder Applied Scientific Initiatives Promoting Employment in South East Europe

 Poli Roukova


Two applied scientific projects have been recently initiated and conducted by the Greek side. Both projects target the improvement of competitiveness of working force in Greek regions bordering on Bulgaria and Turkey in the context of EU enlargement. The second project ARTEMIS is the next stage continuing the initiatives of the first one - HERMES.

Transborder cooperation is a crucial factor for achieving the objectives and implementation of the ARTEMIS project. The project partners are Bulgarian and Turkish employers' and employees' associations, trade unions and researchers. Although the beneficiaries of the project are from Greek regions the largest part of project activities and results have a strong positive effect on the partner-countries.


Cultural Crystallization and Cultural Clientage in the Light of the Migration and the Labor Market

 Ivaylo Kutov


The topic of the analytical report treats the present situation in Bulgaria and stresses on the historical and actual categories of cultural clientage in connection with its socialization and incorporation in the labor market. Subject of the analysis is the basic role of the general and specialized educational system from the beginning stadium to the higher level of education with regards of the ability of the students to adoption and mastering of labor skills. In addition, the report stresses also on the insurmountable defects of education, as well as on some training methods regarding the engaging of young people in the process of social, economic and cultural development of Bulgaria. Also treated is the problem of certain inaccessibility to highest quality of education, the adaptability to the needs of post-totalitarian economy of high technologies.

The dual role of the home and external migration is outlined as a reason not only for the quality of labor in our country but also for the difficulties arising before the young people in getting a good professional training because of multiple transfers from one school to another, prematurely leavings, necessity to learn and work at the same time, etc. which in the highest instance damages the state economy.

Outlined is the positive perspective of the membership in European Union despite the grave demographic collapse, quoted are some external comments on the advanced aging of population, its uneven territorial distribution, an attempt is made to explain why according to the UN Index for Human Development Bulgaria is rating even after some countries of Latin America, Cuba inclusive.

Especially it is stressed on the pragmatic role of art in cultivating creativity; some future migration tendencies are foreseen. Outlined are some different types of cultural crystallizations in Bulgaria in their positive and negative datum.



The Nature of the Social Policy During the Transition Period and Labor Market Particularity in Bulgaria

 Elka Todorova


 It is reviewed the state of social policy mainly as an ideology and related negative consequences by the involvement of new, transitive approaches of social assistance and polices of labor market development. There are largerly analyzed the basic diversities of Bulgaria compared to all EC country-members development subject of the report on employment in Europe. A second stage interpretation on data of published studies on social diversification and policy of youth and education is performed, including methodological issues regarding labor and income indicators. Fundamental problems of Bulgaria are the high rate of economically unactive young people of 15-29 years of age, the weak control on the obligatory school process, the neglection of convocational education, etc.

The four basic goals assigned for 2006-2008 are compared in the Bulgarian report by their issues of the activities regarding poverty and social cohesion and related to them twelve key goals of  2008.


Population Ageing and the Labour Market

 Kamelia Petkova


During the recet years the population ageing became a demographic challenge which most of the European countries are facing. In the context of the common European policy of social and economic development, outlined by the Lisbon strategy, the population ageing rises as an important problem of present interest that reflects both the social security system and the labour market.

In the article the current situation of the age structure of the workforce is analyzed and the main problems that people over 50 years of age encounter on the labour market are outlined. The creation of proper conditions for prolonging the work life of older people contributes for improving their adaptability in the context of the changing requirements at the labour market.


The Quality of Offered Work Places as Determinant of Labor Force Quality

 Temenouga Rakadzhiiska


The article deals with the quality of work places as a determinant of labour force quality.  Labour market is analysed as a substituted market functioning between the exchange and the reciprocity. It is completed by two components - the working capacity market and the work places market. Both are analyzed as the quasi commodities due to the fact that the real devolution of private property rights do not set in the labour market. The paying for the labour places is indirect as paying for information, social contacts supporting, new skills and knowledge acquisitioning, and others as possibility to use the Internet or to buy formal apparel or to assure mobility. The employers expect to get a maximum "price" for their commodities but do not ever make maximum expenditures for this as it is on the Bulgarian labour market. The data from a survey carried out by the author and other schollars during the summer of 2007 shows that from 130 professional new jobs only 30 are for qualified white-collar workers.


Sustainability of Population and Labor Force Reproduction in Agriculture

 Vihar Mitzov


The development of rural population and agricultural labor force are discussed together with the opportunities for sustainable development of the agricultural sector and its basic cell - the farm.  There is given a short definition of sustainable development including in the aspect of the population development.

There is presented a short characteristic of population transition In Bulgaria from 1880 to present. The age structures of active generation and the distribution of labor force by branches explain the particular pattertn of rural population, treated both as a function of the natural increase and also population urbanization. The net negative migration and numerical decrease of village population started way back in the 1960's and therefore this population is ageing significantly faster than the urban one.

Special attention is paid to outward migration in the last ten years and accordingly to the decrease of rural population by more than a half of million people in fertile age and to the impossibility to restore the reproduction contingent in the villages. The slower introduction of science-and-technological progress in agriculture as compared to other branches of the economy is mentioned, also as an obstacle regarding qualified labor force reproduction.

The major forms of organizing labor in modern Bulgarian agriculture in corporate farms and smaller establishments are pointed out. The labor force reproduction is treated in the same way having in mind the large, medium and small farms. There are discussed the efficiency of the new forms of employment such as self-employees, hidden by the corporation, etc. together with unpaid workers in family farms. From this point of view there are treated the conditions for economic and demographic sustainable reproduction in rural regions and farms as well.

The Human Development Index is considered as a measure of the progress in sustainable development. Furthermore, the link between demographic policy and strategic management of agriculture is discussed. Special attention is paid to the necessity of improving agricultural income, diversification of production and European assistance to farmers.

At the end, there is made a summary of the major problems that must be solved in their interlinkage such as organizational forms of labor and production, attracting more members of rural families to agricultural production, involving outdoor labor work and necessity of combining large and medium farms in creating conditions of biological agriculture and sustainable rural development being of one of the most important determinants of national population sustainability.


Characteristics of the Working Poor in Bulgaria during the Period  1992 - 2002

 Silviya Nikolova


The study presents a brief characteristic of the working poverty in Bulgaria between 1992 and 2002, on the basis of the sampled data from the Bulgarian Household Budget Surveys. The emphasis is placed on the poverty headcount and poverty gap dynamics for the working part of the population. Special attention is paid on the poverty headcount and poverty gap between the different socio-professional groups. The study throws some light on the distribution of working poor among sectors and branches as well.



Students’ Attitudes to Labour Market and the Quality of their Personal Skills

 Maria Maneva


A sampled group is selected among the students of the Burgas University and stratified by faculties of specialization: public administration, law, finance, accounting, etc. Students' attitudes and aspirations to find a job or start business after graduating are analysed.  The results show that 42% of them intend to work in the town of Burgas, 25% - to make their own business, 10% - to join the family business or to work abroad. About 76% of females prefer to exercise a profession relevant to their university specialization, while the male proportion is 41%. Almost 76% of the sampled group prefer higher earnings rather than jobs for prestige. The quality of their personal skills and attitudes are also discussed in the context of students’ readiness to join the labour market viewing the specifics of the country and the Burgas region.


Diversions from Selection Standards and Work Appointment

 Maria Stoyanova


The standards of selection and appointment of applicants for work regarded as institutionalised principles and normatives are discussed. There are included the competitions, publicity and equal opportunity.

On the other side the diversion from the standards of selection procedures-for example the nepotism, chronism, clientism are reviewed hahing in mind the worsening practice of personnel selection in Bulgaria admitting traditional forms of nepotism and chronism. For the purpose of revealing the scale of this phenomena a survey on selected agencies named “Immoral behavior of the employers in the Bulgarian social practice of appointment of applicants for work” recently has been performed by the University of national and world economy, Sofia. The majority of the 84 interviewed prove the existence of bad practices of selection, resulting in appointment of relatives and friends habitually unable to perform the functions of the job, while being helpful and fidel to the owner or manager.

The opinion of a significant proportion of the respondents is that it worsens the climate of the work place, labor productivity and mutual trust. The conclusion of the author is that traditional practice is to be overcome by appropriate legislation and strict compliance to the principles of selection standards regarding the work appointment.


On the Problem îf the Relation between Unemployment and Demographic Processes

 Svetla  Bogdanova


The article presents the case studies, carried out during 2004 and 2005 on unemployment in Sofia of highly educated people and middle-age specialists the studyis  aiming to reveal the role of the factor “age“ acting in searching for shifting resigning of the working place of a great part of the qualified work age population in postsocialist Bulgaria. On the ground of the particular empiric data, obtained by the conducted thematic autobiographical interviews with men and women of secondary special and higher education, residing in the capital, as well as with children and youngsters in their families, it was analyzed the problems of the juveniles, both from their point of view and from their parents’. Another important thematic circle of problems is the connection between the unemployment and the particular age group of the population refering to the demographic processes in Bulgaria.

Special attention is drawn on the worsening health condition of the unemployed or middle-aged persons, experienced shorter or longer periods of unemployment, a state, which is particularly troublesome concerning these groups in a long-term perspective. Children and youngsters in the families belonging to them have an unstable emotional status, which could damage their health.

Some part of the studied being already students do not intend to continue their education and the younger ones will not  to apply for higher educational institutions, as they are all disappointed by the position of their highly educated parents unsuccessful in the social hierarchy. However, being on lower degree of education they are destinied in future to low qualified labour, occupying low paid working places.

The young people in the jobless or low paid families habitually  work helping by their carnings their parents, as well as their younger brothers and sisters. This engagement appears as an obstacle to the creation of own families and children.     

Another particularly significant fact is the emigration of young people, who seek better paid jobs outside the native country. There is a dominating trend the young people to create families in the new place where they have found realization professionally and financially.

On the basis of the performed analysis and conclusions it is pointed out that the demographic situation in Bulgaria is heavily aggravated by the unemployment and mostly that the perspective is the crisis to grow deeper, unless the authorized institutions undertake adequate measures.


Enterpreneurship: A Way to Personal Realisation and Better Living Standardt or Exit from Unemployment

Maria Belcheva


The article analyses small and medium entrepreneurship in socio-demographic and personal aspects. It aims at finding the answer of a very important question: what is the profile of that part of the labour capable population which during the adaptation process to the changing socio-economic environment, succeeds to establish itself via a new form of labour realization, which represents the entrepreneurship in Bulgaria.

The number of men is prevailing and its relative share is over 2 times more than the share of women  entrepreneurs from medium-sized enterprises. The entrepreneurs' level of education is significantly higher than this one of the employed. The prevailing part of entrepreneurs has high (54.2%) and higher education (41.7%).

The persons with lower level of education often undertake their own business because of impossibility to find work, i.e. this is some kind of finding a way out of the situation The entrepreneurship for persons with higher education is usually a motivated decision for assurance of the personal and material satisfaction. More than half of the entrepreneurs stated that the development of their own business is more prestigious than to make a career in another company or institution.

Other aspects of entrepreneurship in Bulgaria are also discussed including these of gender and ageing.


Time-budget and Life Cycles of the Population

 Nachko Radev


The report is dedicated to the sociological problems of the time-budget from the perspective of the population life cycles. The increasing average life expectancy is the main characteristic of the life cycle. Consequently, the share of the people in the so-called “third age” has been increasing as well. The public sector, family relations, housing, vacation - all they were calculated before on the basis of the life cycle consisting of 60 years, while it is longer for the time being. The transition to the 21st century poses new social problems to the society. The problem of the life cycles is not well studied. The life cycles are important elements of the peoples' lives and their reproduction and realization have particular features. Three life cycles are distinguished as follows: 1) the life cycle of the growingup generation and youth; 2) the life cycle of people of mature ages, and 3) the life cycle of the old. The problem of time bugjet has its perticularity in the 21st century, when the society acquires a new orientation towards the time of work and the social time. The time budget being a system of activities and one of the directions of the sociological science gives a basic theoretical characteristic of the human activity. The sociological analysis of the four nationally representative surveys of the Bulgarian population's time budgets for the last 30 years shows that the time budgets of the Bulgarians has been subject to great transformations. The age cohorts according to their life cycles are completely different regarding their time budgets.

There are radical transitions of the structure of the time budgets according to the life cicles: regimes of learning, work and rest. The process of studying of the time budget by life cycles is related to the change of the social roles consecutively accepted by the people. The approach towards the work based on the life cycle is of key importance for policy making regarding attaining and retaining at the labour market of the position people in different stages of their working lives.


On the Advantages of Productive Learning at Shcool

 Zeinour Chaoush


The paper presents the principles upon which a modern and promising approach for overcoming the definite dropping out of children and adolescents from school is based. The point is that the lack of domineering values and social experience among the adolescents is one of the leading factors contributing to the development of this negative process. The author emphasizes that the deviations in the behavior of the students are often due to negative social influences, typical for the process of social transformation. The definite dropping out of school in these cases deeply impacts the formation and the quality of the labour force for decades ahead. In order to overcome such negative trends, the possibilities for a productive learning involvement in school are explained, by pointing out the positive results obtained through this approach in France, Finland, Germany, and Russia.



Bulgarian Households' Income in 2007

 Zdravka Toneva


The paper presents an analysis on data concerning the income levels of the respondents and their households in Bulgaria in 2007. The information was obtained by the second wave of the international comparative gender and generation panel survey. Analyzed is the net average monthly income according to various socio-demographic indicators: age, gender, education, place of residence, ethnicity, household members. The incomes of the spouses/partners of the respondents, as well as the income of other members of the household are presented.

The general conclusion is that among the greater part of the Bulgarian population, the income levels are very low. Within all three major ethnicities living in the country, most of the existing households are concentrated in the low-income category. Thus, the conclusion can be made that differences in income levels could not be attributed to the diversity of the ethnic affiliation alone.



Labour as a Correctional Measure for Minors and Adolescents in Bulgaria

 Lubomir Stoytchev


The paper discusses the role, place and application of the very specific for the Bulgarian legislation concerning deviant behaviour labour-correctional measures. They are imposed by the so called Local Commissions for Combating Antisocial Acts of Minors and Adolescents for various types of law-infractions and (petty) crimes. The discussion is based on official statistical data for 2000 - 2006 and the existing relevant laws on national and international level. The initial data are processed and subsequently presented both  on national and regional level. The analysis on national level is based on data for 7 years, while the regional analysis covers the period from 2002 to 2006. Some of the conclusions reveal that all labour-correctional measures are rarely used in Bulgaria. At the same time the 28 regions of very different practices in relation to the extent of which their local commissions employ the measures are discussied.


Demographic Determinants of the Mental Health of Persons According to Their Professional Status

Ergul Tair


The Assessment of quality of life has become an increasingly important topic of research and presently spans fields from management to health psychology. The purpose of this study is to trace one of the significant factors, related to the quality of life - mental health that has influence on the entire functioning of a person, as well as on a person's job competence and aspiration. There are presented the results of a pilot survey on the levels of mental health of teachers, unemployed people and employees in private companies. The influence of some determinanants like age, sex and length of service has been analyzed.


Dynamics of  the Health Status of the Bulgarian Polulation

 Boyka Nikolova,  Zdravka Toneva


The paper concentrates on the dynamics of the health status of the Bulgarian population. A comparative analysis is made between the evaluation of the health status, obtained from two surveys on the personal health, conducted by the National Statistical Institute in 1996 and 2004 and the evaluations of the health condition obtained by the two waves of the gender and generation survey (2004 and 2007). The main conclusion is that, even though some positive changes have occurred, still almost one third of the population in the country has a declining health status. The already established negative trend of a doubling of the people with declining health status at the age of 50 - 59, compared to 40 - 49, has been preserved in 2007. The place of living (town/village) does not indicate substantial changes in the evaluation of the subjective health during both waves of the survey, keeping lower health status levels of the people living in villages. The evaluation of the health status with respect to gender shows lower level health of rural men and women.