In Q1 the Latvian unemployment rate constituted 9.4%. Compared to the previous quarter, the unemployment rate increased by 0.1%, whereas, compared to the same period of the year before, the rate reduced by 0.9%.
In Q1 91.3 thousand people aged 15-74 were unemployed, which is 10.3 thousand fewer than a year ago and 0.5 thousand more than in the previous quarter, according to results of the Labor Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau.
Over the five recent years, the Latvian unemployment rate has been exceeding the European Union (EU) average indicator (except for Q1 2015 when both rates were equal). In Q4 2016, Latvian unemployment rate (9.3%) was 1.1% above the EU average (8.2%). In Q1 2017, Latvian unemployment rate was still the highest among the Baltic States (5.6% in Estonia and 8.1% in Lithuania).
In Q1 the share of long-term unemployed persons, i.e., those who have been without work for 12 months or longer, in the total number of unemployed persons declined. The drop constitutes 7.1% – from 45.5% in Q1 2016 to 38.4% in Q1 2017. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed persons declined by 11.2 thousand, and in the first quarter of 2017 it accounted for 35 thousand.
In Q1 the youth unemployment rate constituted 17.3%, which is 2.3% higher than a year ago and 1.5% higher than in Q4 2016. Over the year, the number of young unemployed persons did not change, while, compared to Q4 2016, the number went up by 0.9 thousand.
In Q1 out of the total number of unemployed persons, 11.8 thousand or 12.9% were young people aged 15-24. Their share in the total number of unemployed persons rose by 1.3%, whereas, compared to Q4 2016, the indicator increased by 0.9%.
In the 1st quarter, 37% of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking job (unemployed), while 63% of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking job).
In Q1 32% or 458.2 thousand people aged 15-74 were inactive, i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking job. Compared to Q4 2016, the inactive population declined by 3.4 thousand, or by 0.7%.
In the 1st quarter, 20.3 thousand people, or 4.4% of the inactive population, were discouraged to find a job (in Q1 2016 the indicator accounted for 3.9% and in Q4 2016 for 5.1%).
In Q1 the Labor Force Survey covered 4.1 thousand households, in which 7.7 thousand persons aged 15-74 were interviewed. (BNN/Business World Magazine)