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Small drop in unemployment

Registered unemployment rate fell slightly in Latvia in June, according to the State Employment Agency.

At the end of June this year, the registered unemployment was at 8.3 percent of the economically active population or by 0.1 percentage point less than in May. In May 2016 the unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points compared to April.

In early June the agency had registered 79,092 jobless people, and the number dropped by 928 people to 78,164 by the end of the month.

As usual, the lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Riga region where 5.3 percent of the population were out of work at the end of June this year. The highest unemployment rate, 18 percent, was recorded in the eastern Latvian region of Latgale, which is one of the most economically challenged regions in the European Union.

The jobless rate stood at 10.4 percent in the western region of Kurzeme, 8.9 percent in the northeastern region of Vidzeme and 8 percent in the central Latvian region of Zemgale.

At the end of June, there were 6,469 job vacancies in the employment agency's database.

Given the very small decline in joblessness, economists will keep a close eye on next month's figures to see if indications of an economic slowdown get stronger.

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