One of the objectives of the European Union is to make it easier for people to move to other European countries to work. That’s why there are many schemes or directives that regulate contributions such as insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits for people who have worked in several EU countries in their lifetime. On the other hand, each country can design its own social security system.

Given this, we might expect the way job centres operate across EU countries to be exactly the same. In fact, it is relatively similar. However, there are significant differences in their effectiveness.

Services for the unemployed

One of the main purposes of job centres is to connect employers with employees. Unfortunately, when there are no applicants, employers start to lose interest in registering their vacancies there. This leads to even fewer people looking for work through the job centre. This vicious circle ends up with a decline in jobs and jobseekers registered at the labour offices.

Something similar is happening in countries like Romania and Bulgaria. And lack of attendance is not the only problem. In the digital world we live in, people expect everything to happen quickly and from the comfort of home. If a person is looking for a job, they can search for it on a job portal or contact a recruitment agency Agency . Solutions are also job aggregators . As long as the portal or agency is professional, applicants will get detailed information about the positions they are interested in. They will receive salary details, location, job specifics and much more very quickly.

On the other hand, if you log on to the website of the employment office in, say, a small town in Bulgaria, you will see that they advertise vacancies for a cashier, a cook and a petrol station manager. However, there is no information on salary, working hours or requirements for applicants. To find out this information, you have to go there in person and spend an hour or two travelling and waiting. Eventually you will find that the pay and hours don’t suit you. Or you don’t meet the employer’s requirements. Even if the conditions suit you, you can apply for five similar positions through a job portal or agency without getting out of your chair.

In Germany, for example, the situation is completely different. Local job centre websites may not contain all the information that jobseekers need, but link to other websites. This way, you can visit the companies’ website or job portal where you can find detailed information about the position you are looking for.

Unemployment benefits

Another very common reason for registering with the Job Centre is to apply for and claim unemployment benefits. There are both similarities and differences when it comes to comparing how things work in different EU countries. For example, every single country that is a member of the EU provides unemployment benefits. As far as the conditions are concerned, one thing is common – you have to have worked for a certain amount of time to qualify for unemployment benefits.

How long and how much can you receive in each country?

In Sweden, you can receive unemployment benefits for 300 days. You can get up to €107 per day for the first 200 days and up to €89 for the next 100 days. The minimum amount for people who have been employed full-time is €45 per day.

In Bulgaria, the maximum is 37 euros per day, while the minimum is less than 6 euros per day. In Romania, the average amount of unemployment benefits paid in 2020 was €106 per month. However, for 6 to 12 months Romanians could receive up to 75% of the country’s minimum wage.

Job centres remain an integral part of the social security system and can help you buy time to look for work. Of course, to take advantage of this, it is important to visit the local office in your state.

When it comes to looking for a job, there is absolutely no harm in finding out what offers they have, and you should do so. However, it is better to look for a job through a company that has the privilege of providing better services and higher salaries for applicants. Focusing on the goal leads to progress. And progress is something that is cumulative. For 14 years, we’ve been making progress day in and day out. Work with professionals success is no accident.