In the 1st quarter of 2020, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 7.4 %
Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in the 1st quarter of 2020 Latvian unemployment rate comprised 7.4 %. Compared to the previous quarter, rate of unemployment has risen by 1.4 percentage points, but during a year – by 0.5 percentage points.
Compared to the previous quarter, in the 1st quarter of 2020 the number of unemployed persons aged 15–74 comprised 72.2 thousand, which is 5.3 thousand more than a year ago and 14.3 thousand more than in the previous quarter. As compared to the 4th quarter of 2019, in the result of crisis caused by Covid-19 the number of unemployed seeking a job for less than 1 month has doubled, but the number of unemployed seeking a job for 1–2 months has increased 1.5 times.
In the 4th quarter of 2019 Latvian unemployment rate (6.0 %) was 0.6 percentage points lower than the European Union (EU) average¹ indicator (6.6 %). Since the 3rd quarter of 2014, Latvian unemployment rate was the highest among Baltic states, only in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2019 it was slightly lower than in Lithuania, but in the 1st quarter of 2020 Latvian unemployment rate was higher than in Estonia (5.0 %) and Lithuania (7.2 %).
Long-term unemployed persons
In the 1st quarter of 2020 the number of long-term unemployed persons (those who cannot find work for 12 months or more) in the total number of unemployed persons reduced by 15.1 percentage point. Over a year, it has dropped from 43.7 to 28.6 %. But the number of long-term unemployed persons declined by 8.7 thousand and comprised 20.6 thousand in the 1st quarter.
In the 1st quarter of 2020, youth unemployment rate of young people aged 15–24 constituted 13.5 %, which is the same as a year ago, but 3.4 percentage points higher indicator than that recorded in the previous quarter. During the year, number of young unemployed persons fell by 0.4 thousand.
In the 1st quarter, out of the total number of unemployed 8.3 thousand or 11.5 % were young people. Over a year, their share in the total number of unemployed fell by 1.6 percentage points, but, as compared to the previous quarter – increased by 0.5 percentage points.
In the 1st quarter, 36.1 % of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), while 63.9 % of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking a job).
In the 1st quarter of 2020, 30.1 % or 419.1 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive, i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking a job. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2019, the number of inactive population dropped by 6.0 thousand or 1.4 %, but over a year – by 13.8 thousand or 3.2 %.
In the 1st quarter, 12.5 thousand people or 3.0 % of the inactive population were discouraged to find a job. As compared to a year ago, this population accounted for 2.7 %, but in the 4th quarter of 2019 – for 3.1 %.
In the 1st quarter, Labour Force Survey questions about economic activity were asked to 6.6 thousand people aged 15–74 living in 3.8 thousand households.
¹ EU average indicators on 27 Member States.