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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 20.06.2019, 10:36

Sauka: there is no real unemployment in Latvia

BC, Riga, 13.02.2018.Print version
Even though the statistical data suggest that the average registered unemployment level in Latvia is about 8 percent, there is no real employment in the country, said Arnis Sauka, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, in an interview with the Latvian public radio today, cites LETA.

He said that Latvia mostly has long-term jobless people, especially in the eastern region of Latgale, where the unemployment level is 16 percent. It means that those are elderly people who lack the skills necessary for the job market. Some of the registered unemployed people are in the shadow economy, and there are also people who do not want to work. "In Latvia, practically all people who want to work have jobs. Therefore there is no unemployment in real life," said Sauka.

The researcher said that for several years already there is a shortage of workforce in the Latvian job market. "We know about it for a long time already. And this problem is going to escalate. There will be talks on the necessity for the cheap workforce and for the highly qualified workforce," he said, adding that this is proved by a number of studies.

Sauka said that business representatives and the state should cooperate to solve the problem on attracting workforce from abroad.

As reported, in January 2018, Latvia’s registered unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points from December 2017 to 7 percent, according to information released by the State Employment Agency. At the beginning of January 2018, there were 63,121 people registered with the government agency as unemployed. By the end of the month, their number had grown by 2,015 to 65,136 people.

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