Registered unemployment rate edges down to 6.0% in Latvia

The registered unemployment rate edged down to 6.0% at end-June, from 6.1% at end-May, according to the latest figures of the state employment agency. In annual terms, the number of the unemployed fell by 5.7% y/y, while in monthly terms they dropped by 0.6% m/m. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies remained solid, higher by as much as 55.7% y/y, signaling for strong labor demand and shortages.

In monthly terms, the number of vacancies fell slightly, down by 6.8% m/m and as a result the unemployed per vacancy ratio rose marginally to 1.8, but still at its second lowest level since this data series has been maintained. Meanwhile, the number of the employed fell for the second consecutive month, down by 0.2% y/y, which took place amid a marginal expansion of the labor force by 0.1% y/y.

Overall, labor demand remains strong amid still solid economic activity, while labor shortages remain an issue. To remind, the finance ministry argued earlier this year the labor market poses a challenge to economic growth as rising wages could negatively affect the country’s competitiveness. Looking ahead, we expect the unemployment rate might drop down somewhat further in the summer months, driven by seasonal job opportunities.

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