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Ceturtdiena 22.02.2018 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija
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LB: unemployment rate falls slower due to changes in the 100-lats programme

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The unemployment rate has been falling already the seventh quarter in turn, but in the last quarter of 2011 the proportion of job seekers decreased by 0.1 percent to 14.3% of economically active residents, which is slower than before. The slower decrease in unemployment can be related to the reorganization of the temporary job program and traditionally lower employment rate in the winter season, says Olegs Krasnopjorovs, the economist of the Bank of Latvia.

Namely, in December, along with the conclusion of the temporary job or «100-lats» program, it had no participants. According to our estimates, in the 4th quarter of 2011, compared to the 3rd,  this effect alone increased the proportion of job seekers by 0.8 percent. After an «empty» December, January was «half-empty» in terms of temporary jobs, as several municipalities started the implementation of the second phase only in February 2012. Besides, even if the second phase of the temporary job program gathers full pace, the number of participants will be considerably lower than in the first phase. Subsequently, smaller number of those employed in temporary jobs will influence the unemployment rate also in forthcoming quarters, the economist says.

Unemployment data respond to the dynamics of the economical activity belatedly, thus they to not yet reflect the decrease in economic development of the end of 2011. However, employment prognoses of employers in general remain positive. Although this indicator is quite unstable and the employers’ answer balance is only a little above zero, data of the European Commission indicate that in January 2012 the number of employers planning to increase in the number of employees against those planning to reduce this number reached the 11-months maximum in the processing industry (6-months maximum in the retail trade).

Negative employment expectations are observed only in construction which contravenes the fast increase in employment in this sector. Such phenomenon may be explained with shadow economy, namely, only registered companies take part in surveys of business conditions, while labour force surveys include also people providing unregistered construction services.

Results of the population census have not yet been reflected in the labour force survey data, thus, according to our estimates, considering the unregistered migration, the number of employed persons in the 4th quarter of 2011 could be 870 thousand, not 987 thousand as CSB reports. Also the number of job seekers is overestimated, Krasnopjorovs emphasizes.

Ref: 102.110.110.341


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