Slowly but pervasively, unemployment is becoming the defining problem for ever growing numbers of the population in Bulgaria over the last several years. Some 430,000 jobs were lost since 2008, when the financial and economic crisis hit Europe, in a country of some 7.3 million. The official figures of the National Statistical Institute point to 12.3% of unemployed at the end of 2012, and that excluding the long-term jobless, the economically inactive and the discouraged. The current caretaker government recently updated its forecast for the coming three years, foreseeing jobless numbers rising to 13% in 2013, causing lower consumption and slower economic growth of 1%. This is creating a vicious circle for the Bulgarian economy in the short term, bidding particularly bad for the poorer remote regions of the country.
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