Tran Mau Tri TamcopyrightPhoto copyright by Tran Mau Tri Tam

Questia Group has made a research regarding job selection. Namely, we were wondering in what type of sector would people choose to work, and why.

The research was made through an online survey on our platform, covering 505 respondents, with a plus or minus 4% margin of error. The online survey was active between 11th and 13th of October 2016.

Private/public job preferences

Our research shows that 55.1% of the respondents would prefer working in the public sector in comparison to the private sector (44.2%).

This result is puzzling, considering that in 2015, 83.6% of the employed population was working in the private sector, 15.3% were working in the public sector while 1.1% were engaged in the mixed sector (according to the National Institute of Statistics). Before we analyze this particular result, let’s focus on the overall description of the labor market in Romania.

Up to now, according to the official statistical data, in 2015 the active population reached 9,159 thousand people, out of which 8,535 thousand were actively employed and 624 thousand were unemployed. The employment rate of the population aged between 20 and 64 years was 66%. Men were better represented than women in the labor sector: the employment rate for men was 69.5%, while the employment rate for women was 53.2%. However, previous studies show that this rate is descending (Popa and Caragea, 2016). Also, 61.7%, of the people living in the rural areas were employed in comparison to 61.3% living in cities.

When it comes to age groups, those aged 35 to 44 had the highest share of the employed population (29%), followed by those aged between 25 and 34 (24%). And when it comes to education, 52.8% of the employed population graduated high school and vocational schools, 18.7% have university studies and 24.9% finished primary school. All this information is available here.

Research shows that choosing to work in the public sector is influenced by a variety of factors, in addition to the potential pay. Two researchers (Molnar and Kapitany, 2013) suggest that the main subjective factors that push people to choose the public sector are stemming from:

  • job security creation;
  • regulated job conditions;
  • more predictable promotion opportunities; motivations (social responsibility, the feeling of social usefulness)
  • and many others (such as the work environment, characterized by some as “more humanistic”, see Gajduschek and Linder 2011).

Private/public job preferences based on income

However, if people were to choose on the basis of their income, between the public and the private sector, considering that their income would be higher in the private sector and the overall conditions would be similar, the results show that 72.3% would choose the private sector while only 27.2% the public sector.

Therefore, the higher income represents a crucial indicator that people take into account when making a decision regarding their job. Now, this is no news – people prefer a higher income than a lower one even if this means changing the sector in which they work in.

What do the data tell us so far? It seems that wages in the private sector have increased by 3.7% on average in 2016, according to a study made by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The study also tells us that the highest average salary increases were registered in the retail (4.3%) and FMCG (5.8%) sectors, while below average increases were registered in the banking industry (2.6%).

To be more precise, the highest entry-level wages for employees with higher education were offered by pharmacy companies (3,700 RON gross), while banks remunerate entry-level employees with less than half that amount (1,800 RON gross). Entry level wages for employees with secondary education range between 1,400 and 1,600 lei, depending on the sector. (Please visit the salary and benefits study here).

And, if we were to have a more comprehensive picture – although wages are increasing in the private and the public sector, Romania still has the lowest average hourly labor costs (5.0 EUR), together with in Bulgaria (4.1 EUR) and Latvia (7.1 EUR). The average hourly labor costs from the EU-28 are 25 EUR (see more <a href=""_blank">here).

Stay close for more information related to working conditions, patterns of work, attitudes towards work and other interesting information that our community and researchers at Questia Group are preparing.

Express your opinions in the comment section and let us know why you would choose to work in the public or the private sector.