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Human resources: unemployment to stabilize at 12%

By Anatol Steven. 07.09.2011

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Recent falls in Latvia’s jobless rate are unlikely to continue, at least until spring 2012

The jobless rate in Latvia is likely to stabilize at around 12% of the economically active population, according to the director of the State Employment Agency. So even though unemployment tends to tumble each summer and fell to 11.9% in August, is unlikely to fall further during the rest of 2011.
“This trend has always been there, except for such exceptional situations like 2009,” Baiba Paševica told the news agency Baltic News Service.
“In September, October, in some years already in August, the unemployment rate tends to edge up again, approximately by one percentage point a month.”
The unemployment rate of 11.9% of the economically active population in mid-August was down 0.2 percentage points from late July. The number of people without a registered job was 135,280, or 2,358 less than at the end of July.
The lowest rate is in the Riga region (8.9%), with the capital city itself showing a rate of 8.3%. The western region of Kurzeme has 12.6% unemployment, Zemgale 13%, Vidzeme 13.4%, and the eastern region of Latgale 20.1%.
Of the cities, after Riga Ventspils has a 9.1% rate and Jelgava 9.2%. The highest unemployment in Latvia’s towns and cities is seen in Rēzekne in the east of the country, at 17.9%.
Unemployment may actually rise slightly this year, Paševica predicts.
“Data for August showed that the drop in unemployment is becoming more moderate,” she says. “Although unemployment continues to decline, it is not happening as quickly as it did in May, June and July. I suppose that it might stabilize at around 12%. Perhaps the jobless rate will rise above this figure in some fall or winter months, but in the spring the jobless rate should fall again.”


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