The number of unemployed rose by 4,120 in April to the highest level of the past three years of 517,741, close to the Labor Ministry's estimates on the number of jobless people at the end of the year, data from the national labor force agency (ANOFM) show.
Such a high number of unemployed was last counted in March 2006, when there were registered 545,884 jobless. After the 1989 upheaval against the communist regime in Romania, the unemployment peak was reached in March 1994 - 1.291 million people without a job. The minimum level of unemployment was recorded in June 2008, with 337,084 unemployed, NewsIn informs.

The unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent in April, from 5.6 percent in March. It stood at 3.9 percent in April 2008.

As many as 249,861 people from the total number of unemployed registered at ANOFM received severances, up 20,000 people over the previous month. Some 224,291 people from the total number of unemployed are women.

The smallest unemployment rates in April were recorded in Ilfov county (1.6 percent) and Bucharest (1.8 percent), while the highest ones were in Vaslui (12 percent) and Mehedinti (10.4 percent).

The executive manager of the Bucharest labor force agency AMOFM, Dumitru Pelican, said on April 22 the number of unemployed could hike close to 800,000 this year, but could stand at 700,000 if the government begins infrastructure investments.

However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates the number of jobless people will reach 800.000 at year-end, while the Forecast Commission CNP bets on only 620,000 unemployed.

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