Long-term unemployment declined this year in Latvia

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Over the past year, there have  been positive trends in the reduction of unemployment, particularly in long-term unemployment. At the same time,t he number of vacancies increased by 10 percent in Latvia in the third quarter, Latvian Radio reported on December 27.

The registered unemployment rate has fallen steadily this year, with a total of 5.9% of the economically active population at the end of November. Similarly, a positive trend is also marked by a decline in the number of long-term unemployed. Last year, 28% of the unemployed were registered in the State Employment Agency (NVA), while currently, it is 21%, said the Director of the NVA Department for Development and Analytics, Eva Lapsiņa.

She said: “Looking at the events in the world, of course, we were looking forward to this year with concerns of what will happen with the unemployment situation, but it wasn't as bad as we expected, because, with all the crises, unemployment rates are declining and the number of [NVA] customers is declining in all regions [..].”

The State Employment Agency currently has around 50 thousand unemployed people and around 25 thousand vacancies registered.

“If we look at areas, the most vacancies are in construction and real estate, which is nearly 40% of vacancies. This is followed by transport, logistics, and production. The most demanded professions, where there are the most vacancies, are then programmers, logistics specialists, customer advisers, project managers, truck drivers, various construction professions, and auxiliary workers,” said Lapsiņa.

Data from the Central Statistical Bureau show that the number of vacancies in Latvia increased by 10 percent in the third quarter compared to this period last year. Andris Bite, head of the Latvian Employers' Confederation (LDDK), predicts that the number of vacancies will drop in the near future, but as the economy stabilizes, the shortage of staff will again become the most important problem for employers. 

When asked how employers are dealing with the lack of employees at the moment, the head of the LDDK stated: “Well, there are two ways, many in these circumstances are stalling development efforts, some are dealing with it through immigration labor and looking for workers outside the country, and I think that trend will be further practiced. There will be a great deal of work with the public administration on how to build this system so that it can be used but would be legal and would not force people to stay."

The largest share of vacancies is in public administration, particularly in the area of home affairs, where the problem of low wages has long been highlighted.

Lija Luste, head of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia's remuneration statistics, said: “The highest number of vacancies from the State administration is at the State Police. The National Armed Forces are also looking for people, the Prisons Office also has a high number of vacancies, as well as the Border Guard and Riga municipality are looking for employees. Also the State Revenue Service and the Court of Justice Administration."


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