Unemployment rate unchanged, a slowdown expected
The State Employment Agency has released the final data on the end of November unemployment level in Latvia. The registered unemployment in November grew at a rate similar to the previous two months: one percentage point per month, reaching 15.1% of the economically active population by the end of November.
Some macroeconomic indicators continue to indicate stabilization of economic activity and the European Commission monthly surveys of entrepreneur forecasts in regard to changes in the number of employees in the next three months keep improving, yet the registered unemployment rate persists. This is based on two reasons: first, unemployment delay in regard to the economic cycle: changes in employment follow rises or falls in activity. Second, there is a greater motivation for job seekers to get registered at the State Employment Agency in regard both to extending the unemployment benefits to nine months irrespective of length of service (as of 1 July) and opportunities for field practice with the local governments for those unemployed people whose term for receiving benefits has run out.
The further rise in unemployment observed at the beginning of December notwithstanding, in the next few months a slowdown in the unemployment rate is expected determined by a gradual improvement in the fundamental factors (macroeconomic indicators).