In October 2022 the activities of the project ‘European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS) - Unemployment benefits recipients’ of the National Statistical Institute under a grant agreement with the European Commission 101055564 - 2021-BG-ESSPROS were successfully completed. The main objective of the project was to build capacity for the preparation of statistical data on the recipients of unemployment benefits in Bulgaria within the framework of the European System for Integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) according to a methodology proposed by Eurostat for the voluntary collection of such data.
In cooperation with experts from the National Social Security Institute (NSSI) and the Employment Agency, the available data on the number of recipients of periodic cash unemployment benefits from the register of unemployment benefits recipients and the register of persons registered in the labour offices of the Employment Agency was processed. Periodic unemployment benefits in Bulgaria that fall within the scope of the data collected under the project include unemployment benefits under Article 54a, paragraph 1 of the Social Security Code and under Articles 230 and 231 of the Law on Defense and the Armed Forces of Republic of Bulgaria as well as scholarships, transport and accommodation expenses paid to unemployed persons participating in training for literacy, acquisition of professional qualifications or key competences (for the duration of the training). In accordance with the requirement to eliminate the double counting of the recipients of benefits/assistance falling under the unemployment function, the vertical aggregation of the data on the recipients of unemployment benefits administered by NSSI and the data on the recipients of ‘vocational qualification supplement’ administered by the Employment Agency for the same reference period was carried out by NSSI. The questionnaire for the qualitative information on the module has been completed.
As a result of the carried out activities data for 2019 and 2020 on the total number of recipients of at least one of the above-mentioned benefits during the reference year was obtained on the one hand and data on the average monthly number of benefits received during the reference year in total, by gender and by age group on the other hand. In 2019 and 2020, a total of 216 781 and 301 660 persons respectively received at least one periodic cash unemployment benefit and the average monthly number of such benefits received was 71 380 and 109 859 respectively.