Unemployment increase rate slows in Latvia

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The increase in the number of unemployed people has slowed down significantly over the past weeks, said Evita Simsone, director of the State Employment Agency (NVA) in an interview to Latvian Radio on May 22.

The number of unemployed people has increased by 17,000 since the announcement of the state of emergency. "At the beginning of March, unemployment rate was 6.2% and we expected a seasonal decline in the rate. The COVID-19 crisis affected it and unemployment reached 8.2%," Simsone said.

The crisis has hit Rīga and its vicinity the most. The unemployment rate has increased rapidly in these regions, from 4% to 6%. In  Latgale, the unemployment rate remains highest in the country - 15%.

Simultaneously with the relaxation of limits in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduction in unemployment has also been observed. On Thursday, May 21, the number of unemployed people increased by less than 100, whereas in previous months there had been instances of 1000 people per day.

The number of job vacancies registered at the beginning of the crisis has also decreased, but already in May the number of vacancies has gone up again. "The highest numbers of vacancies are available in agriculture, construction, industry and wholesale trade," said the Director of NVA.


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