Seasonality and the 100-lats programme increase the number of jobseekers
The Central Statistical Bureau today published its labour survey data. The percentage of jobseekers at the beginning of the year, during the first quarter, grew by 1.3 pp. – to 16.3%. The explanation is both seasonality (in the first quarter of the year this indicator tends to be higher), and a smaller number of participants in the State Employment Agency's temporary work or " 100 lats" programme. The seasonally adjusted percentage of jobseekers, with the temporary work impact also excluded, continued to drop in the first quarter of 2012, reflecting the persistent GDP growth.
The rapid GDP growth in the first quarter invites the prediction of a faster drop in the jobseekers rate than previously estimated. We expect that a drop in the jobseekers rate this year could achieve 1.5 percentage points (compared to the average indicator in 2011, which was 16.1%). Just as before, the rise in employment (observed in all sources of statistics) will help to bring down not only the official unemployment level (the percentage of jobseekers) but also the hidden unemployment (those who have lost hope of finding a job etc.).
On 20 April 2012, the Central Statistical Bureau published updated 2011 labour survey data based on the census results. The adjustment has mostly been applied to absolute numbers: e.g., the number of the employed in the fourth quarter of 2011 was adjusted down, as could have been expected, and the adjustment amounted to 110 thousand people. The main reason for this is a smaller population numbers (because of the unaccounted for emigration) than estimated by the population register.
The relative numbers also underwent slight adjustments. The percentage of jobseekers in the fourth quarter of 2011 has thus been increased by 0.7 percentage points – to 15.0% of the economically active population. The level of economic activity, on the other hand, has been reduced by 1.0 percentage point – to 64.7% of working age (15-74) population. The reason for adjustments in the relative number was that in the emigration unaccounted for by statistics population groups with high economic activity and low unemployment are dominant.
 The data can be compared to the recalculated data for 2011, but they cannot be compared to the data of previous periods (CSB is planning to recalculate the data of previous years in the second half of 2013.).