Big increase in unemployment in Latvia

In the course of 2020, the number of unemployed persons in Latvia increased by 28.4 % according to the results of the Labour Force Survey of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) released February 24.

78,700 people aged 15 to 74 were unemployed. Compared to 2019, the number of the unemployed has increased by 17,400 or 28.4 %.

Last year, the unemployment rate in Latvia was 8.1 %, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than in 2019. The unemployment rate for women remains lower than for men (7.1 % and 9.1 % respectively).

In the 4th quarter of 2020, compared to the 3rd quarter, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points and it was 7.9 %.  In the 4th quarter, 75.6 thousand people were unemployed, which is by 5.8 thousand fewer or 7.1 % less than in the 3rd quarter.

In the 3rd quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate in Latvia (8.4 %) was 0.9 percentage points higher than the average indicator (7.5 %) of the European Union (EU) Member States. In the 4th quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate in Latvia was higher than in Estonia (7.4 %), but lower than in Lithuania (9.1 %).

The number of unemployed persons who have been unemployed for less than a year increased, whereas the number of long-term unemployed persons decreased.

Since 2013, youth unemployment rate in Latvia has been consistently lower than the average of EU Member States but higher than in Estonia and Lithuania. In 2020 however, Latvia had the lowest youth unemployment rate in the Baltic states – in Estonia the youth unemployment rate was 17.9 %, but in Lithuania – 19.6 %.

In 2020, 30.1 % or 418.4 thousand of the population aged 15 to 74 were inactive, i.e. were not employed and did not actively look for job. Compared to the previous year, the number of inactive population  decreased by 9.8 thousand or 2.3 %.

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