In 2015, 98.2 thousand persons aged 15–74 were unemployed. Compared to 2014, the number of unemployed persons has decreased by 9.5 thousand or 8.8%. Last year, unemployment rate in Latvia accounted for 9.9% – 0.9 percentage points less than in 2014. Unemployment rate among women still is lower than among men (8.6% and 11.1%, respectively).
Compared to Q3, in Q4 2015 unemployment rate has increased by 0.1 percentage point and comprised 9.8%. In Q4 2015, 98.1 thousand persons aged 15–74 were unemployed – an increase of 1.2 thousand or 1.2% over Q3, according to data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Since Q2 2014, unemployment rate in Latvia differs from the average European Union (EU) indicator only slightly, while in Q1 2015 it was the same as the EU average (10.2%). In Q3 of 2015, unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage points above the EU average (9.0%). Since Q3 of 2015, Latvia has the highest unemployment rate among the Baltic States (unemployment rate in Estonia constituted 6.4%, and 8.8% in Lithuania in Q4 2015).
In 2015, the number of long-term unemployed persons, who have been seeking a job for 12 months or more, dropped from 46.1 thousand in 2014 to 44.5 thousand in 2015. As reduction of the total number of unemployed persons was faster than reduction of long-term unemployed persons, the share of long-term unemployed in the total number of unemployed persons even grew (43.0% in 2014, 45.5% in 2015).
In Q4 2015, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the total number of unemployed persons accounted for 44.7%. Compared to Q3, it has declined by 5.9 percentage points. In Q4 2015, there were 43.6 thousand long-term unemployed persons, and in Q3 – 48.5 thousand.
In 2015, youth unemployment rate comprised 16.3% – 3.3 percentage points less than a year before (19.6% in 2014). 13.5 thousand or 13.8% of the total number of unemployed persons were aged 15–24. Over the year, the number of unemployed young people has dropped by 3.3 thousand, and the share thereof in the total number of unemployed persons has decreased by 1.9 percentage points.
In Q4 2015, the youth unemployment rate accounted for 19.0% – a rise of 2.8 percentage points over Q3. The number of young unemployed persons increased by 3.8 thousand and reached 16.6 thousand or 16.9 % of the total number of unemployed persons (12.8 thousand or 13.2 % in Q3). In Q4 2015, 44.6 % of all young people were active, i.e. employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), whereas 55.4 % of the youth were inactive – mainly still studying and not seeking a job.
Since 2013, the youth unemployment rate in the Baltic States has been below the average of the EU. The lowest youth unemployment rate was recorded in Estonia – in 2015 it accounted for 13.1 %, while in Latvia and Lithuania – 16.3 %.
In 2015, 32.5 % or 478.4 thousand persons aged 15–74 were inactive, i.e., neither employed, nor actively seeking a job. Compared to the previous year, the number of inactive population has decreased by 25.1 thousand or 5 %.
In Q4 2015, 466.6 thousand or 31.9 % persons aged 15–74 were inactive. Compared to Q3, the number of inactive population has decreased by 4 thousand or 0.8 %.
In 2015, 22.8 thousand or 4.8 % of inactive population were discouraged to find a job (26.6 thousand or 5.3% in 2014). In Q4 2015, the number of inactive persons, who were discouraged to find a job, accounted for 20.4 thousand or 4.4 % (23.5 thousand or 5% in Q3 of 2015).