Concerns raised about unemployment rise in autumn in Latvia

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The rise in the unemployment rate, which was particularly rapid in the first months of the COVID-19 crisis, has nearly stalled.  State Employment Agency (NVA) said July 17 it was likely that the trend could deteriorate again in autumn, with the end of seasonal jobs.

In June this year, 95 thousand unemployed people were registered in Latvia. Although this is significantly more than before the COVID-19 crisis, the rapid rise in unemployment has subsided. Compared to May, the actual unemployment rate recorded by both the State Employment Agency (NVA) and estimated by the Central Statistical Bureau increased by only 0.2 percentage points.

In June, the unemployment ranks had not yet reached those 25 628 workers who were helped by downtime benefits. Whether they will have a job after the end of the benefit payout will become known in July.

State Employment Agency said “We were also, with some concern, waiting for this moment when downtime benefits would end. With the idea that it will highlight the situation. But in general, the scene is not so bad,” says Evita Simsone, director of the State Employment Agency.

NVA acknowledges, however, that in summer there is traditionally the lowest unemployment rate due to seasonal jobs. But a second wave of rising unemployment rates could be expected in autumn. And it should be noted that the number of job vacancies registered has gone down by half during the crisis.

“These were more than 10,000 vacancies that were disregarded during this period of crisis. But the positive news is that new vacancies were registered throughout, also in April and May, and in March. And we have registered more than 4,000 new jobs in July,” Simsone said.


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