Even though the number of employees keeps rising, the first half of 2016 shows a slowdown of job creation. The number of new employees in the second quarter of 2016 is 22 200, which is the lowest since the beginning of 2014 when the post-crisis recovery of the labor market kicked off. In the first quarter of 2016, the number of new employees was not much higher either - 25 300. In fact, the first half of 2016 is the worst half year in terms of job creation since the upturn of the labor market two years ago.
The bad news is that some of the sectors, which have been at the forefront of job creation, are already showing a decline of employment. Among these is the IT industry, which surprised on the negative side in the second quarter with a loss of 4.1 thousand jobs against a year earlier. The manufacturing industry is also faring disappointingly. A number of branches of the manufacturing industry have attracted substantial investment and expanded rapidly after the crisis. Among these is the production of auto parts, machinery and equipment, appliances, optics, pharmaceutics, plastics, etc. In the second quarter of 2016, however, employment in the wider manufacturing industry also fell for the first time in quite a while, by 5.5 thousand people in yoy terms.
* Desislava Nikolova, Chief Economist, Institute for Market Economics
 The data quoted here refer to the sector of "Creating and distribution of information, creative products; long-distance communication". Yet, the IT industry (and mostly software development), which is a part of this wider branch, has been the main driver of job creation in the sector over the past couple of years.