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Rapid changes in Latvian employment “unlikely”

By Anatol Steven. 09.08.2010

Hard at work
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State Employment Agency official airs opinion on Latvia’s employment situation

Anita Jākobsone, deputy director of the Latvian State Employment Agency, has commented in a newspaper interview that any further rapid changes in the employment market are unlikely, regardless of any improvements.
In an interview with the Latvian-language daily “Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze”, Jākobsone explained that the unemployment rate peaked in March, when it reached 17.3 percent, and has since dropped by around 2 percent, meaning that 20,000 more people have found work since then.
“Regardless of changes for the better, a 2 percent reduction in unemployment is not sufficient reason for expecting major changes in the employment situation,” she said.
However, in another sign that the situation may be changing for the better, there has been a decreasing number of newly-registered unemployed since September 2009, and there is a certain amount of growth in the number of people who ceased to be listed as unemployed – around 17,000 people per month.
“Of course, not all of them have found jobs, but about half of them have,” Jākobsone said. “The number of job vacancies registered with the State Employment Agency is also growing and has now hit a record high of 3,162.”
Nevertheless, there is still a wide gap between the number of available vacancies and the number of those who are continuing to look for work.


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