In the first quarter of this year the percentage of job seekers slightly grew as compared to the preceding quarter – from 9.8% to 10.3%.
In absolute figures, the number of unemployed persons within a year grew by thousand people, but in comparison with the fourth quarter a year earlier – by 3.5 thousand.
Almost a half of the Latvian unemployed persons (45.5%) are people, who cannot find job for 12 months and more. Moreover, the number of long-term unemployed persons continues growing – within a year their proportion grew by 1.8 percentage points.
Among young people (15 to 24 years old) unemployment in the first quarter of this year made up 15%, which is by 0.2 percentage points more than a year earlier, but by 4 percentage points less than in the fourth quarter of 2015. Obviously, decline in youth unemployment correlates with the reduction of the number of young people in Latvia. At present the labour market is approached by people born in the 90-s, when the birth rate in Latvia declined to the all-time low level in the second half of the ХХ century.
As to the fortunate souls, who in the first quarter used to go to work on a regular basis, their number made up 889.2 thousand people (61% of population). The number of Latvian working people appeared to be by 1.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier, but by 0.4 percentage points lower than in the preceding quarter.
The youth employment rate (in the group aged 15 to 24) made up 34.2%, thus, by 0.2 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
Among the economic sectors the employment dynamics is rather mottled. As to the large economic sectors, the employment gain was observed in processing industry, but decline – in building industry. Changes in transport and trade are close to zero.
The economic advance lost steam, therefore the labour market is being warmed up slower. It is fair to assume that the proportion of job seekers in upcoming quarters of this year would drop after all. But this will happen because of decline in the number of the working-age population rather than because of employment generation.
A predictable annual average percentage of job seekers falls within 9-10%, while the growth of new job offers is close to zero. This can be connected either with the fact that the employers encounter more and more difficulties in finding skilled workers or because the undertakers do not feel distinctive certainty in the demand growth in the future.
Therefore, the employers prefer to raise wage to the existing employees and invest in equipment, which optimizes the processes and does not require additional labour force. While increase in capacity is not the limelight for the majority of undertakings, and therewith there is no demand for additional labour force as well.