"I think that at the moment we are having a crisis of the labor force and we should make a common effort to try and attract Romanians who are working abroad to come back home, " Calin Popescu Tariceanu said, speaking at the congress of the National Trade Unions.
Two million Romanians are estimated to be working abroad.
"We have to offer them all conditions to get them back, to employ them legally, so that they could have health and retirement benefits, as is normal in a modern European country," said Tariceanu.
Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian said Monday that Romania needed about 500,000 workers, especially in construction, heavy industry and car manufacturing.
"I am not tempted to open the labor market to foreign workers as long as we have an important reserve of the labor force that is not sufficiently used," he said.
Most Romanians working abroad are in Spain and Italy. Many moved after Romania joined the European Union on Jan. 1, taking modestly paid jobs as maids, janitors, and in the construction business.
Due to labor shortages, an estimated foreign 8,000 workers are due to come to Romania in the coming months from China, India, Pakistan, Moldova and Turkey, to take jobs construction and light industry, the daily newspaper Evenimentul Zilie reported.