Latvian unemployment rate down on year, stable on quarter

In the 1st quarter of 2019, Latvian unemployment rate stood at 6.9 % according to results of the Labor Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB). Compared to the previous quarter, unemployment rate has not changed, while over the year it fell by 1.3 percentage points.

In the 1st quarter, in Latvia there were 66.9 thousand unemployed persons aged 15–74, which is 13.1 thousand people fewer than a year ago and 200 people fewer than in the previous quarter.

Latvia unemployment Q1 2019

Since the 3rd quarter of 2008, Latvian unemployment rate has exceeded the European Union (EU) average (except for the 1st quarter of 2015 when both indicators were equal). In the 4th quarter of 2018, Latvian unemployment rate (constituting 6.9 %) exceeded the EU average (6.6 %) by 0.3 percentage points. 

In the 1st quarter of 2019, Latvia still had the highest unemployment rate in the Baltic states – 6.9 %, compared to 4.7 % in Estonia and 6.5 % in Lithuania.

Long-term unemployed persons

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, in the 1st quarter of 2019 the share of long-term unemployed persons, i.e., those who have been without work for 12 months or longer, in the total number of unemployed persons grew – from 39.4 % to 43.7 %. However, the number of long-term unemployed persons, in its turn, reduced by 2.2 thousand, constituting 29.3 thousand.

Youth unemployment

In the 1st quarter of 2019, youth unemployment rate accounted for 13.5 %, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than a year ago and 1.5 percentage points higher than in the previous quarter. During the year, the number of young unemployed persons fell by 0.8 thousand.

In the 1st quarter, young people aged 15–24 accounted for 8.7 thousand or 13.1 % of all unemployed persons. Over the year, their share in the total number of unemployed persons grew by 1.3 percentage points, whereas compared to the 4th quarter of 2018 by 2.3 percentage points.

In the 1st quarter, 37.4 % of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), while 62.6 % of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking a job).

Inactive population

In the 1st quarter of 2019, 30.8 % or 432.9 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive, i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking a job. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2018, the inactive population grew by 2.5 thousand people or 0.6 %, whereas over the year it fell by 2.7 thousand people or 0.6 %.

In all 903,600 people or 64.4 % of Latvia's population aged 15–74 were employed in the 1st quarter of 2019. Over the year, the employment rate grew by 0.9 percentage points and the number of employed persons by 5.6 thousand. Compared to the previous quarter, employment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points and number of employed persons by 6.2 thousand.

Employment rate Q1 2019
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