Employment reserves in Latvia running low, says authority

There are signs in the unemployment statistics that labor reserves in Latvia are shrinking, said Evita Simsone, director of the State Employment Agency (NVA) in an interview on Latvian Television July 19.

Simsone said that at the beginning of June this year the actual unemployment rate, which is usually higher, was almost equal to registered unemployment. This is worrying news that shows that labor reserves in Latvia are actually shrinking, Simsone said.

“We are thinking of new ways of encouraging those people who are still unemployed, paying more attention to those who have long been unable to find a job,” the director of the NVA said.

She said that retraining was a long process, and there are many jobs that don't have time to wait.

“Lifelong learning is becoming increasingly critical,” Simsone said, stressing that this should be done already when one is in the labor market, not only when the job is lost. “Development of skills is becoming more and more important, not only in Latvia but globally.”

The average job seeker in Latvia is currently a woman over 50 years of age with acquired vocational secondary education. Statistics show that the proportion of female unemployed has increased slightly, reaching almost 56% of all registered unemployed. Nearly 40% are in the age group over 50 years. “These are direct indications that skills no longer meet the demands of today's market,” Simsone said.

"I disagree with the claim that people [in the labor market] are discriminated against because of age, I stick to the idea that it is a skill issue.

"How technology changes, how it enters the labor market. There are no sectors that it would not have affected. The ability of people to adapt, acquire new skills is the key to what is important for job seekers," Simsone said, pointing out that if a person has not been trained and developed technology skills, staying in the labor market becomes impossible at some point.

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