Commuters Account for 18% of Bulgaria's Workforce - Trade Unions
Nearly 0.5 million Bulgarians, or 18% of the total of persons employed, are internal labor migrants, according to statistics of trade unions.
According to statistics of Bulgarian trade unions, the number of commuters exceeds 400 000 but their exact number remains unknown.
According to Bulgaria's Employment Agency, the number of commuters registered under the program "Closer to Work" currently stands at 5812.
The dramatic discrepancy between the statistics of the trade unions and the Employment Agency has been attributed to the fact that many people find work through other means than labor bureaus, according to private TV station bTV, as cited by investor.bg.
Commuting has become a widespread practice in Bulgaria, the most intensive traffic taking place in the central and southern regions in cities such as Plovdiv, Lovech, and Haskovo.
Only 16 000 commuters in Bulgaria have their travel expenses covered under different schemes and programs.
Trade unions estimate the number of commuters at over 400 000, the most common means of transport being bus and train.
All commuters in Bulgaria are estimated to spend a total of 600 000 hours a day traveling to work and back.
Over 30 000 people spend an hour a day traveling to work and back, while some 4000 spend 3 hours a day commuting.
"When a tired person spends several hours commuting, the labor productivity drops and they incur additional losses to travel expenses. However, in Bulgaria this is a lifesaver as 1/3 of the municipalities are currently in dire straits as regards employment," expert Bozhidar Arsov commented.
According to statistics, the number of women commuters has been on the rise. At the same time, men lose more time commuting. Most of commuters have secondary education.
The sectors of construction, agriculture, and manufacturing report the largest numbers of commuters.
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