Press Release

Unemployment of young people still a major issue in Latvia

Unemployment among young people still is notably higher than in other age groups. In the 3rd quarter of 2013, in Latvia there were 27.1 thousand unemployed youngsters – 22.4% of the total number of unemployed persons aged 15-74. Labour Force Survey results compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia indicate that most (86.9%) of them were aged 20-24.

Unemployment rate in Latvia in 3rd quarter of 2013, per cent

Data source: Labour Force Survey results.

The highest number of unemployed youth in Latvia was recorded in the 1st quarter of 2010, while since the 2nd quarter of 2010 the indicator has been diminishing gradually. In the 3rd quarter of 2013, the share of unemployed young persons in the total active youth accounted for 27.6% – 3.7 percentage points less than in the corresponding period of 2012 and 7.5 percentage points more than in the 2nd quarter of 2013.

Different situation, in turn, may be observed in regions.

Share of unemployed young people aged 15-24 in total active youth in 3rd quarter of 2013 by region, per cent

Data source: Labour Force Survey results.

The highest share of unemployed youngsters aged 15-24 in the total number of active youth was recorded in Latgale region1. In the 3rd quarter, indicator accounted for 47.2% – 12.8 percentage points more than a year ago. As compared to the 3rd quarter of 2012, corresponding number in other regions has reduced.

In comparison with the 2nd quarter, share of unemployed youngsters in the total active youth in the 3rd quarter has grown in Latgale, Kurzeme, Pierīga region and Riga, while declined in Vidzeme and Zemgale region.

In the 3rd quarter, young unemployed persons in Kurzeme region comprised almost one third (31.9%) of the total number of unemployed persons aged 15-74 in the region – the highest share among all regions; while the lowest share was recorded in Vidzeme region – 16.8%.

One of the reasons behind the unemployment of young people is their educational attainment level – approximately two thirds or 61.1% of the youngsters did not have professional qualification or education level thereof was low. 22.1% of young people had acquired professional education, while 16.8% higher education. Only one fourth or 24.8% of all unemployed youngsters had previous working experience; moreover 23.1% of them were employed in elementary occupations.

Share of unemployed persons aged 15-24 in the Baltic States and European Union, per cent

Data source: Eurostat database, for data on 3rd quarter of 2013 - Labour Force Survey of Latvia and Estonia.

Data of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) indicate the highest youth unemployment in Greece (57.3%) – July 2013 data, Spain (56.5 %), Croatia (52.8%), as well as Cyprus (43.9%) and Italy (40.4%) – September 2013 data. Only in some countries (Germany and Austria) youth unemployment was lower than ten per cent.


More information on the Labour Force Survey results and methodology is available in the CSB database


More information:
Zaiga Priede
Employment Statistics Section
Tel. +371 67366886



1 Region basing on the place of residence.

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