Unemployment continues downward path in Latvia

Results of the most recent Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and released August 15 show that in the 2nd quarter of 2018 the Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.7 %. 

Compared to the previous quarter, the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points, while over the year it dropped by 1.2 percentage points.

In the 2nd quarter, in Latvia there were 75.4 thousand unemployed persons aged 15–74, which is 11,200 fewer than a year ago and 4,600 fewer than in the previous quarter.

Nevertheless, since the 3rd quarter of 2008, the Latvian unemployment rate has exceeded the European Union (EU) average (except for the 1st quarter of 2015 when both indicators were equal) and continues to do so.

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, Latvia also had the highest unemployment rate in the Baltic states – 7.7 %, compared to 5.1 % in Estonia and 5.9 % in Lithuania.

Despite the generally encouraging overall trend, in the 2nd quarter of 2018, the share of long-term unemployed persons, i.e., those who have been without work for 12 months or longer, grew – from 39.4 % in the 2nd quarter of 2017 to 41.3 % in the 2nd quarter of 2018. However, the actual number of long-term unemployed persons reduced by 2,900 to 31,100.

The figures on youth unemployment were even more encouraging. In the 2nd quarter of 2018, youth unemployment rate constituted 11.2 %, which is 5.3 percentage points lower than a year ago and 3.5 percentage points lower than in the 1st quarter of 2018. During the year, the number of young unemployed persons fell by 5,300, and over the quarter by 2,000.

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