Labour force survey proves further labour market recovery
In the second quarter of 2011, the actual unemployment level or the percentage of jobseekers dropped for a fifth consecutive quarter, to 16.2% of the economically active population.
The number of employed has increased over a year by 3.3% (or 30.5 thousand), and these data are a counterargument to any talk about jobless recovery in Latvia. The number of full-time employees has grown even more rapidly (by 3.7%): ever more people whose work load was reduced during the crisis are returning to full-time employment. The average work week in the main job has grown over a year to 38.5, which however still trails behind the indicator of the years of overheating economy, which exceeded 40 hours. The number of those employed in the second job is still close to the historically lowest level.
A gradual drop is experienced not only in regard to the percentage of jobseekers but also in hidden unemployment: the number of people who are not looking for work because they have lost hope of finding it (and thus are not included in the jobseeker statistics) has dropped to 37.9 thousand.
By age group, the highest percentage of jobseekers amongst the economically active population, at 32.2%, remains among young people (15- to 24-year-olds). Since the majority of the young people are not economically active because of studies, we can calculate that 12.7% of all young people are looking for work – a percentage similar to the other age groups. Thus unemployment among young people is not more widely spread than among other age groups.
The level of unemployment differs substantially depending on the level of education and that mostly serves to confirm structural unemployment. Of economically active population with higher education a mere 7.7% are seeking employment, whereas among those with basic education this indicator is at 27.2%. In addition, only one third of those with basic education are economically active: thus only one quarter of working age population with basic education is employed. Among those with higher education, this indicator exceeds three quarters.