Up to 140,000 Foreign Workers Expected to Join Romania’s Labor Force in 2024

The contingent of foreign workers allowed to work in Romania in 2024 will increase to 140,000, a 40% rise from the set limit for this year, which is 100,000. Most of them will be employed in retail, hospitality, services, construction, transportation/logistics, or tourism, filling entry-level positions requiring a maximum of two years of experience.

While we observe fewer Romanians applying for jobs abroad, there are still industries struggling to meet staffing needs with the existing workforce in Romania. These sectors also experience significant employee turnover. Importing labor from abroad, especially outside Europe, has been a useful solution, especially for addressing employee stability issues. These are sectors with high annual hiring volumes,” says Roxana Drăghici, Head of Sales at eJobs, Romania’s leading online recruitment platform.

Out of nearly 350,000 jobs posted from January to the end of November, employers in retail posted 86,000, services companies posted 51,000, the food industry posted 40,000, tourism posted 37,000, transportation/logistics posted 32,000, and construction posted 28,000.

According to Salario, eJobs’ salary comparator, net salary averages nationally for entry-level positions in these sectors range from 2,600 to 3,600 lei. Specific figures include 3,000 lei for retail, 3,600 lei for construction, 3,000 lei for the food industry and hospitality, 3,100 lei for transportation and distribution, and 2,600 lei for tourism.

“Workers from outside the European space have the same rights as Romanian workers. Additionally, employers must provide accommodation and offer a minimum salary equivalent to Romania’s minimum wage. Despite longer recruitment periods and additional costs, and awareness that Romania serves as a gateway to larger European markets for those coming from Asia, employers resort to this solution due to a deep local candidate shortage,” explains Roxana Drăghici.

2022 witnessed the highest increase in the number of work permits issued to foreign workers, with 50,000 new foreign workers admitted to the labor market in 2021, double the previous year. Official data shows that over 96,000 employment contracts were registered for non-European Union employees last year.

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