Unemployment dips below 8% for first time since 2008

Latvia's registered unemployment rate was down to 7.9% in September, the State Employment Agency told LETA Tuesday.

Compared to August, the unemployment rate decreased 0.2% in September. The jobless rate in Latvia was 8.3% in June and July, 8.4% in May, and 8.8% in April this year.

The State Employment Agency said that last time the unemployment rate in Latvia was below 8% in December 2008 when the registered unemployment was 7%.

In January 2009 the jobless rate was already up to 8.3%.

The number of people officially registered as jobless dropped by 1,307 during September 2016 to 74,357 at the end of the month.

The lowest unemployment rate, 5.1%, was recorded in Riga region, while the highest jobless rate, 17.4%, was in the eastern Latvian province of Latgale. At the end of September this year, unemployment reached 9.6% in Kurzeme, 8.6% in Vidzeme and 7.3% in Zemgale.

Among Latvia's largest cities, unemployment stood at 4.9% in Riga, 5.3% in Valmiera, 5.8% in Jelgava, 6.3% in Jurmala, 6.3% in Ventspils, 8.7% in Jekabpils, 10.8% in Daugavpils, 10.7% in Liepaja and 15.1% in Rezekne.

Altogether 6,223 jobless people found permanent employment in September.

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