Roma employment and the potentials of state and business actors in labor market inclusion

Publication Type: 
Working Paper
CEU Center for Policy Studies
Place of Publication: 
CPS Working Papers
Series Number: 
This paper was drafted as a State of the Art report that summarizes the reasons behind the vulnerable labour market situation of Roma in Central and Eastern European countries and the potentials of labor market policies to facilitate their labor market inclusion. The paper also summarizes literature on the potential of the business sector in facilitating employment of vulnerable minorities through their focus on employee’s diversity and their commitment to equal treatment. Overviewing the main labor market policies and programs initiated by the state in Hungary and Bulgaria, it is apparent that they are not suitable to positively influence the labor market exclusion of Roma, or lessen employers’ discriminatory practices; on the contrary, some even contribute to sustaining the marginalized situation of the Roma population. While governments seem to fail in this task, corporate actors may find synergies between educated Roma and their diversity policies, especially amid increasing shortage of workforce. However, this type of thinking is still uncommon in Central and Eastern European countries; old, historically rooted stereotypes and prejudice still override economic rationale for most actors. The report argues that there is space to develop this area, as it is a win-win situation: while corporate firms find a new pool of potential employees amid workforce shortage, educated Roma may access well paid, stable jobs.