Employment support measures should resume, says Bank of Latvia

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Support measures implemented by the government to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 on the economy should be continued, said Uldis Rutkaste, Head of the Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Latvia, in an interview to Latvian Radio on May 28.

These measures, including idle benefits, have helped to mitigate unemployment and their resumption would help to keep unemployment at normal levels so that it does not rise rapidly. It would also help prevent a potential wave of emigration.

Rutkaste pointed out that emigration after the crisis would also depend on the unemployment levels in countries where people could go to seek jobs.

In April 2020, the actual unemployment rate in Latvia was 9.2%, which is 1.3 percentage points higher compared to March and the first increase in rates after ten years of a steady fall. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Latvian government agreed at the end of March on state aid to companies whose turnover has fallen by 30%.


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