At the end of World War II, Romania was mainly an
agricultural economy. The communist regime that came to power in Romania
after World War II, carried on a program of forced industrialization.
The emphasis was on heavy industries like oil refineries, chemical plants,
machine-building and hydro-electric plants. Farms owned by individuals were
combined to form collectives. There were further amalgamations of collective
farms that brought single villages into multivillage co-operatives. Officially
people owned these farms, but the government told them what to produce and
how to manage the farms. Forced industrialization and collectivization had
a great impact on the lives of the people as well as the economy of the
country. During Ceausescu's last years, there were shortages of farm goods
like animal products and other foods. Gas and electricity were rationed.
As of 1990 the Romanian government is based on a multiparty democracy. Major changes are being introduced such as the privatization of industries and collective farms. As a result many people own land and are farmers. These changes, however, have also led to unemployment. About one-half of the secondary and post-secondary school graduates are unable to find suitable work. To ward off this problem the government has provided unemployment benefits as short-term relief. The government also shortened the work week from 48 to 40 hours
Foreign investment in computer science and consumer goods and services are aiding the struggling Romanian economy. The government is working hard to improve the standard of life for its people. Romania has made considerable progress in moving towards a democratic, market-oriented system.