Employment level rises on year in Latvia

Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and released February 22 show that last year, Latvia's unemployment rate constituted 8.7 %, which is 0.9 percentage points lower than in 2016.

The unemployment rate among females was lower than among males – 7.7 % and 9.8 %, respectively.

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) but in recent years has been gradually falling.

However, employers are already warning that they face challenges in the labor market with the skilled workforce all but spoken for. 

Further results of the Labour Force Survey showed that 894,800 people or 62.9 % of Latvia population aged 15–74 were employed in 2017.

Compared to the year before, in 2017 employment rate grew by 1.3 percentage points and the number of employed persons by 1,500. The employment rate among men grew faster than among women – by 1.6 percentage points and 1.0 percentage points, respectively.

Compared to the year before, in 2017 the most notable increase in the number of employed persons was observed in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities, and information and communication.

In 2017, 2,400 employed persons participated in active employment activities organised by the State Employment Agency, e.g., had paid temporary community work while still having the status of unemployed.

Since the 4th quarter of 2012, the Latvian employment rate has been exceeding the European Union (EU) average level (which in the 3rd quarter of 2017 constituted 60.2 %). In the 4th quarter of 2017, Latvian employment rate exceeded Lithuanian rate (by 63.5 %), however was still lower than Estonian one (68.4 %).

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