Romania April unemployment falls to 8.1 percent

BUCHAREST, May 10 (Reuters) - Romania's unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in April from March's 8.4 percent, the employment agency said on Monday, which analysts attributed to a seasonal effect in construction and farming. The global financial crisis forced many Romanian public and private sector companies to reduce production, cut wages and lay off thousands of workers over the past months and there will probably be more job cuts to come. Romania, which secured a 20 billion euro International Monetary Fund-led aid package last year, needs to cut jobs in the bloated state-controlled sector in order to reduce its large budget imbalances. At the end of an IMF review of the deal on Monday, mission chief Jeffrey Franks said Romanian government's cost cutting efforts will probably lead to the loss of 250,000 jobs in its sprawling state sector over a number of years. Analysts say social pressure would rise, as trade unions threaten with new strikes, protesting against government plans to cut wages and pensions to meet a budget deficit target of 6.8 percent of gross domestic product this year. APRIL 10 MARCH 10 APRIL 09 Number of unemployed 738,187 765,285 517,741 Jobless rate 8.1 8.4 5.7 (Reporting by Ioana Patran and Radu Marinas; Editing by Toby Chopra) Keywords: ROMANIA UNEMPLOYMENT/ ( ; +40 21 305 52 63; Reuters Messaging: ) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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