In 2017, Latvian unemployment rate fell to 8.7 %

22.02.2018

Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that 85.4 thousand people aged 15–74 were unemployed in 2017. Compared to 2016, the number of unemployed persons has dropped by 9.9 thousand or 10.4 %. Last year, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 8.7 %, which is 0.9 percentage points lower than in 2016. Unemployment rate among females still was lower than among males – 7.7 % and 9.8 %, respectively.

Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2017, in the 4th quarter unemployment rate reduced by 0.4 percentage points and constituted 8.1 %. In the 4th quarter of 2017, 79.7 thousand people aged 15–74 were unemployed, which is 4.4 thousand or 5.2 % less than in the 3rd quarter.

Since the 3rd quarter of 2008, Latvian unemployment rate exceeds the European Union (EU) average (except for the 1st quarter of 2015 when both indicators were equal). In the 3rd quarter of 2017, Latvian unemployment rate (constituting 8.5 %) exceeded the EU average (7.3 %) by 1.2 percentage points. In the 4th quarter of 2017, Latvia still had the highest unemployment rate in the Baltic states (5.3 % in Estonia and 6.7 % in Lithuania).

Unemployment rate in the Baltic states and the European Union by quarter
(as per cent)

Data source: Eurostat database, data on the 4th quarter of 2017 –  Labour Force Surveys of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

 

Long-term unemployed persons

In 2017, 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 by 3.8 percentage points – from 41.5 % in 2016 to 37.7 % in 2017.  Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed persons reduced by 7.4 thousand, and in 2017 it constituted 32.1 thousand.

In the 4th quarter of 2017, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the total number of unemployed persons constituted 32.5 %. Compared to the 3rd quarter, the indicator decreased by 7.6 percentage points. In the 4th quarter of the year, there were 25.7 thousand unemployed persons and in the 3rd quarter – 33.6 thousand.

 

Youth unemployment

In 2017, youth unemployment rate constituted 17.0 %, which is 0.3 percentage points lower than a year ago (17.3 % in 2016). Out of the total number of unemployed persons, 12.1 thousand or 14.2 % were young people aged 15–24. During the year, the number of young unemployed persons fell by 0.9 thousand, whereas their share in the total number of unemployed persons grew by 0.6 percentage points.

In 2017, youth unemployment rate constituted 16.5 %, which is 1.1 percentage points lower than in the 3rd quarter. The number of young unemployed persons dropped by 2.7 thousand and constituted 10.6 thousand or 13.3 % of the total number of unemployed persons (13.3 thousand or 15.8 % in the 3rd quarter).

Since 2013, Latvian youth unemployment rate was lower than the EU average. In 2016, Latvian youth unemployment rate (constituting 17.3 %) was 1.4 percentage points lower than the EU average (18.7 %). In 2017, Latvia still had the highest youth unemployment rate in the Baltic states (12.1 % in Estonia and 13.3 % in Lithuania).

Youthunemployment rate in the Baltic states and the European Union
(as per cent)

 

Data source: Eurostat database, data on 2017 –  Labour Force Surveys of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

 

In 2017, 39.7 % of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), while 60.3 % of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking a job).

In the 4th quarter of 2017, 36.7 % of all young people were active, while 63.3 % inactive.

 

Inactive population

In 2017, 31.1 % or 433.1 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive. i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking a job. Compared to 2016, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 18.6 thousand or 4.0 %. In the 4th quarter, 30.7 % or 434.2 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive. Compared to the 3rd quarter, inactive population grew by 1.2 thousand people or 0.3 %.

In 2017, 18.1 thousand people or 4.1 % of the inactive population were discouraged to find a job (20.2 thousand or 4.4 % in 2016). In the 4th quarter of the year, this population accounted for 16.1 thousand people or 3.7 % (19.5 thousand people or 4.5 % in the 3rd quarter of 2017).

 

In 2017, Labour Force Survey covered 16.5 thousand households, in which 30.4 thousand people aged 15–74 were interviewed. In the 4th quarter of the year, Labour Force Survey covered 4.1 thousand households, in which 7.5 thousand people aged 15–74 were interviewed.

 

More information on employment statistics is available in the CSB database section Employment and Unemployment – Key Indicators. Results of the Labour Force Survey are published in the CSB database section Employment and Unemployment (Short term statistical data and Annual statistical data).

 

 

Media requests:
Communication Section
E-mail: media [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366621,+371 27880666

 

More information on data:
Sandra Ceriņa
Social Statistics Data Compilation and Analysis Section
E-mail: Sandra [dot] Cerina [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366653