BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania has a labor shortage of about 500,000 workers, especially in construction, heavy industry and car manufacturing, the country's economy and finance minister said Monday.
''We need more engineers, mechanics and bricklayers,'' said Varujan Vosganian at the opening of a conference on professional and technical education. ''We have a labor deficit of about 500,000 employees.''
Romania, a country of some 22 million, has an estimated 2 million citizens working abroad, most of them in Spain and Italy, where they work as bricklayers, maids, nannies, waiters and janitors. Many left after Romania joined the European Union on Jan. 1.
There are 4.7 million people employed in Romania, and the country has an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent — the lowest since it has been since 1992.