Brain Business Jobs in Bulgaria Grow Strongly


Since 2014 the share of adults employed in brain business jobs has grown by fully 50% in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has particular strengths in design, IT services, programming, and telecommunications.

Since 2014, the share of adults employed in brain business jobs in Bulgaria has increased by fully 50%. As comparison the rate of growth has been 42% in Poland, 28% in Germany and 9% in France.

The index by ECEPR, with support from Nordic Capital, measures the share of the working-age population across Europe employed in highly knowledge-intensive enterprises, in 31 countries and 277 regions.

"The brain business jobs of Europe are increasingly growing in Southern and Eastern Europe. The capital regions of Southern Europe, including France, have 600 000 more brain business jobs than the Western European capital regions. Eastern European capital regions have twice as many brain business jobs compared to the Nordic capital regions", explains Nima Sanandaji, director of ECEPR.

Klas Tikkanen, chief operating officer at Nordic Capital Advisors, adds, "There is a general trend in Europe in which those countries that have experienced the strongest growth of brain business jobs, per capita, tend to be those that have lower tax levels as share of GDP. Just above a third of the variation of growth rate in these knowledge-intensive jobs can be explained in the variance in the tax level. Competitive taxes are a key ingredient in fostering knowledge-intensive jobs growth".

IT and communications particularly strong in Bulgaria

Out of the working age population in Bulgaria, 1.1 percent are employed in the tech sector. Additionally, 2.7 percent work in IT and communications (ICT), while 0.7 percent are employed in advanced services and 0.9 percent in creative professions. In total 5.4 percent of adults in Bulgaria are employed in brain business jobs.

Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland are the top knowledge economies of Europe

The concentration of knowledge-intensive jobs is highest in Switzerland, where fully 10.7 percent of the population is employed in brain business jobs. Sweden climbs back to second place, after last year being surpassed by Ireland. Ireland has 10.0 percent of adults employed in brain business jobs, nearly the same as 10.1 percent in Sweden.

An important aspect of reducing regional unemployment

The index compares 277 European regions based on the share of adults that are employed in brain business jobs, manufacturing industries and professional services. In a region where 10 percentage points more of the population is employed in these high-value-creating sectors, the average unemployment is 2.1 percent lower, compared to the typical European region.

4 out of 10 top brain business jobs regions are found in Eastern Europe, 3 in Western, 2 in the Nordics, and 1 in Southern Europe

In all previous editions of this index, the Slovakian capital region of Bratislava has had the highest concentration of brain business jobs per capita. This year Budapest climbs to the number one spot, followed by Bratislava and Prague on third place. Oberbayern, Paris, Stockholm, the Oxford region (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire), Copenhagen, London, and Bucharest are the other top-10 regions. Four of the regions in the top-10 are found in Eastern Europe, three in Western Europe, two in the Nordics, and one in Southern Europe.

Strengths in design, IT services, programming, and telecommunications

Compared to the rest of Europe, Bulgaria has strengths in design & other creative professions, as well as in IT services. Telecommunications and programming are also relative strengths. The country lags the rest of Europe in head office & management, engineering & architecture, as well as research & development.

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