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Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna
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Expert: Latvia still has the highest unemployment level among Baltics

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Tendencies on the labour market will become more positive this year. Queues of unemployed people are expected to decline more quickly. Unemployment will be reduced by negative demographic trends too, but there will not be any sharp changes. The unemployment outlook for 2017 is 8.6%,» notes SEB Bank macroeconomics expert Dainis Gaspuitis.

The expert explains that no major changes on the labour market are expected: «Employers will remain cautious in regards to taking on new employees. This is because the focus will remain on control of costs. It will be hard to reduce the average unemployment level because of different economic activity in regions.»

Gaspuitis notes that last year’s unemployment indexes, following slow growth, had improved very cautiously. Unemployment declined 0.2 percentage points in Q4 to 9.3%. Compared with 2015, Latvia’s unemployment level declined by 0.3 percentage points to 9.6% in 2016.

In 2016, 95.3 thousand residents were unemployed. 39.5 thousand of them had been unemployed for more than a year. Because of that, Latvia still has the highest unemployment level in Baltic States. Estonia’s and Lithuania’s unemployment levels were 6.6% and 7.6% in 2016.

«Deficit of workers in the most active regions will limit unemployment. New jobs will rise more slowly. The effect will be amplified by residents’ low mobility. Residents will continue to leave, especially younger residents. The labour market will continue ageing, further narrowing the range of employees for employers. Soon it will become a serious obstacle for economic growth. The year’s average unemployment level is expected to be 8.6%,» Gaspuitis concluded.

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