West Europe’s Pull Not So Strong for Romanians Amid Covid-19

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Romanians who flocked to Europe’s richer west before Covid-19 struck aren’t rushing back there.

The country of 20 million people saw hundreds of thousands of doctors, engineers and builders head to the European Union’s more affluent states during the past decade. A chunk of them already returned in the pandemic’s early stages. As for emigrants, what was an exodus has slowed to a trickle, according to online recruiter eJobs.

While more than 1 million Romanians are looking for employment, most are only applying for positions at home, eJobs data show. Just only 2% are searching abroad, compared with more than a fifth last year.

West Europe’s Pull Not So Strong for Romanians Amid Covid-19

“We have a lot of requests for medical staff from all over Europe, but we don’t get many applications,” Ana Calugaru, a PR Manager at eJobs, said this week by phone. “Doctors, for example, are in wait-and-see mode because they realize that, even if they could make great money in this period, the working conditions would be very hard and it’s not safe anywhere these days.”

Applications to work outside of Romania had already been slowing as labor shortages at home pushed up wages. The government has said it would like people who’ve returned because of the coronavirus situation to stay and help spur the economy.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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