Structure of labor force
Tthe total share of population at working age is 62.09 % (286 347 people) or a little higher than the average for the country (59.2 %). At the same time the share of the population under working age (16.41 %) is by 0.11 % above the average for the country (16.3%), and the share of the population over working age (21.50 %) is below the average for the country (24.5 %) by 3 %.
The unemployed have a good level of qualification - about 10% of them are with higher education while another 25 - 27% have professional qualification.
4 state and 1 private secondary English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Balkan language school3 state and 2 private schools with intensive studying of foreign languages
Bulgaria takes the third place in the world in the category of certified IT specialists as a percentage of the population and the tenth place by their actual number. The certified specialists in IT, finance, health care, management, foreign languages and communications numbered 4400 in 2002 (source: Brainbench).
All of the country’s major Internet Service Providers are present in the city. Unlimited Internet access of 33,6 Kbps over a cable network is provided for $15 a month. Higher speed Internet connections (128 Kbps) over DSL are also available with a monthly subscription fee of less than $100 for 1200 MB of traffic.
The competitive structure of the IT sector is due to the large number of software and hardware firms. Software companies are specialized in web-development, and ERP and financial software, complying with local legislation. Because of the large number of IT students the city has the potential to become an Offshore Development Centre for software. For the time being however, foreign investors have not taken advantage of this opportunity.
Another free market segment is hardware production – local demand is still being satisfied predominantly through assembly of imported components.
The country takes the second place in the world following Israel at the international intelligence tests (MENSA International).