Chapter 3: Inequality at Work Emerging in the Current Crisis in Bulgaria
Vasil Tzanov INTRODUCTION 1. The effects of the economic crisis on the Bulgarian economy began to reveal themselves from the second half of 2008. From the beginning of 2009, the economy entered into recession which deepened throughout the year and was prolonged to early 2010. Bulgaria began to come out of the recession in the second half of the year but the crisis was not over at the beginning of 2011. The negative effects spread over the entire economy, including the labour market, the public finances, fiscal policy and social protection. Naturally, different branches, firms and social groups are affected in different ways and this is reflected in different developments with regard to inequality. The significant fall in GDP has had a strong negative impact on the labour market. The key labour market indicators have deteriorated during 2009–2010. Total employment has declined significantly and unemployment has gone up. Since the crisis is concentrated in particular economic branches the effects on the labour market are focused on specific segments. This implies inequalities with regard to employment and unemployment adjustment and structure. Furthermore, the crisis is affecting to different degrees not only employment and unemployment, but also other aspects of work, such as working time, compliance with health and safety regulations, working conditions, training, social dialogue and so on. The overall outcome is increased inequalities in respect of all working conditions. The impact of the crisis on working conditions depended not only on economic circumstances but also on policy responses to...
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