About the ILO in the Republic of Moldova

For labour markets a long recovery ahead

Moldova achieved important development results over the last two decades, building on an average annual GDP growth of 4.6 per cent before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Economic growth, high inflows of remittances, and social transfers reduced the relative poverty in pre pandemic times.

While the economy quickly recovered in 2021 from the strong recession caused by the pandemic, the much-needed recovery of labour markets has been lagging. Employment rates continue to be very low (2021: 41 per cent), lower for women than for men (36 per cent vs 44 per cent). Only 17 per cent of persons with disabilities were employed in 2021. Levels of inactivity are very high, particularly among youth. Close to 30 per cent of the youth in Moldova are neither employed nor in education or training.

Since the the launch of the Russian invasion in Ukraine in 2022, the labour markets of neighbouring Moldova are under additional pressure as a result of a compounded energy and refugee crisis. In 2022, Moldova received the largest number of Ukrainian war refugees per capita among all receiving countries in Europe.

ILO Interventions in Moldova

The ILO has been active in Moldova since 2005 based on several Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCP). The current DWCP for the period 2021 to 24 covers the following three priority areas:

• Inclusive and productive employment for youth;
• Effective protection at work;
• Improved social dialogue.

To support these priorities, the ILO mobilized voluntary contributions of US$3.6 million as of early 2023. They cover job creation, conditions of work including formalization, occupational safety and health, and minimum wages, childcare provision as well as vocational training. The latest addition to this technical cooperation portfolio has been a new project supported by Switzerland supporting the current DWCP.
Text last updated May 2023