Latvia's workforce one of EU's oldest

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Nearly one in four of Latvia's workforce is aged 55-74, meaning the country has one of the oldest workforces in the European Union, according to data released by the Central Statistical Bureau June 3.

Last year, 23.3% of all employed people were aged 55–74. It is the second highest share in the European Union (EU) where on average 19.4 % of the employed were at retirement or what is classed as "pre-retirement" age. The indicator has been steadily climbing over the years, flagging up yet another aspect of Latvia's demographic and labor force challenges.

The Baltic states took all three of the top spots with the highest indicator in the EU registered in Lithuania (23.5 %), followed by Latvia and then Estonia and Germany (23.1 % in each), while the lowest was in Luxembourg (10.8 %).

Share of employed people aged 55-74
Share of employed people aged 55-74

Other workforce data showed that of employed people, 8.1 % worked part-time – one tenth (10.8 %) of the employed females and 5.3 % of the employed males. Compared to the EU average where one third (32 %) of females and one tenth of males (9.7 %) worked part-time in 2018, the share of employed population of Latvia working part-time is smaller and tends to reduce. The main reason mentioned behind working part-time was inability to find a full-time job (29.4 %).

In 2018, 72.8 thousand people in Latvia were unemployed, 41.7 % of them were classed as long-term unemployed (not able to find work for one year or longer). Asking friends and relatives was the most popular method used to find work and was used by more than three quarters (77.7 %) of unemployed people. Compared to other Baltic states, this method is popular only in Latvia. In Lithuania, the unemployed more often contacted the state employment agency (78.8 %), while in Estonia they studied advertisements in newspapers, journals, or Internet.

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