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Tuesday 19.03.2019 | Name days: Jāzeps
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Unemployment in Latvia was 7.4% in 2018

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU72.8 thousand people were unemployed in 2018. Compared to 2017, number of unemployed persons dropped by 12.6 thousand or 14.8 %. Last year, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.4 %, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than in 2017.

Unemployment rate among females still was lower than among males – 6.4 % and 8.4 %, respectively.

Compared to Q3, unemployment rate reduced by 0.1 percentage points and constituted 6.9 % in Q4 2018. In Q4, 67.1 thousand people aged 15–74 were unemployed, which is 1.7 thousand or 2.5 % less than in Q3, according to results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau.

Since Q3 2008, Latvian unemployment rate exceeds the European Union average (except for the 1st quarter of 2015 when both indicators were equal). In Q3 2018, Latvian unemployment rate (constituting 7.0 %) exceeded the EU average (6.6 %) by 0.4 percentage points. In Q4, Latvia still had the highest unemployment rate in the Baltic States (6.9 %), compared to 4.4 % in Estonia and 6.0 % in Lithuania.

Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed persons (those who cannot find work for 12 months or more) reduced by 1.8 thousand, and in 2018 it constituted 30.3 thousand persons. As the total number of unemployed persons dropped faster than the number of long-term unemployed persons, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the number of unemployed persons increased by 4.0 percentage points (from 37.7 % in 2017 to 41.7 % in 2018).

In Q4, there were 29.1 thousand long-term unemployed persons and in Q3 – 29.4 thousand. In Q4, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the total number of unemployed persons constituted 43.4 %. Compared to Q3, the indicator increased by 0.3 percentage points.

In 2018, youth unemployment rate constituted 12.2 %, which is 4.8 percentage points lower than a year ago (17.0 % in 2017). Out of the total number of unemployed persons, 8.0 thousand or 11.0 % were young people aged 15–24. During the year, the number of young unemployed persons fell by 4.1 thousand and their share in the total number of unemployed persons by 3.2 percentage points.

In Q4, youth unemployment rate constituted 12.0 %, which is 1.0 percentage points higher than in Q3. The number of young unemployed persons dropped by 0.5 thousand and constituted 7.2 thousand or 10.8 % of the total number of unemployed persons (7.7 thousand or 11.2 % in Q3).

From 2013 to 2016, Latvian youth unemployment rate was lower than the EU average, however in 2017 it constituted 17.0 % and was 0.2 percentage points higher than the EU average (16.8 %). In 2018, Latvia still had the highest youth unemployment rate in the Baltic states, compared to 11.4 % in Lithuania and 11.8 % in Estonia.

In 2018, 37.7 % of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), while 62.3 % of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking a job). In Q4, 34.9 % of all young people were active, while 65.1 % inactive.

In 2018, 30.4 % or 428.7 thousand people aged 15–74 (including 157.4 thousand people aged 65–74) were inactive, i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking a job. Compared to 2017, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 14.4 thousand or 3.2 %. In Q4, 30.6 % or 430.4 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive. Compared to Q3, inactive population grew by 9.7 thousand or 2.3 %.

In 2018, 13.4 thousand people or 3.1 % of the inactive population were discouraged to find a job (18.1 thousand or 4.1 % in 2017). In Q4, this population accounted for 12.2 thousand or 2.8 % (17.2 thousand or 4.1 % in Q3).

In 2018, Labour Force Survey questions about economic activity were asked to 29.1 thousand people aged 15–74 living in 16.3 thousand households, while in Q4 – to 7.4 thousand people aged 15–74 and living in 4.2 thousand households.


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