Analytics, Baltic, Employment, Latvia, Statistics

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 10.04.2020, 04:41

In 2019, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 6.3%

Sandra Ceriņa Social Statistics Data Compilation and Analysis Section, 24.02.2020.Print version
Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that 61.3 thousand people aged 15–74 were unemployed in 2019.

 Compared to 2018, number of unemployed persons dropped by 11.5 thousand or 15.8%. Last year, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 6.3%, which is 1.1 percentage points lower than in 2018. Unemployment rate among females still was lower than among males – 5.4% and 7.2%, respectively.

Compared to the 3rd quarter, in the 4th quarter of 2019 unemployment rate did not change and constituted 6.0%. In the 4th quarter, 57.9 thousand people were unemployed, which is 1.0 thousand people or 1.7% less than in the 3rd quarter.

Since the 3rd quarter of 2008, Latvian unemployment rate exceeds the European Union (EU) average1 (except for the 1st quarter of 2015 when both indicators were equal). In the 3rd quarter of 2019, Latvian unemployment rate (constituting 6.0%) was 0.1 percentage points under the EU average (6.1%). In the 4th quarter, unemployment rate in Latvia was higher than in Estonia (4.1%), while lower than in Lithuania (6.4%).

Long-term unemployed persons

Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed persons (those who can not find work for 12 months or more) reduced by 7.0 thousand, and in 2019 it constituted 23.3 thousand persons. In 2019, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the total number of unemployed persons declined by 3.5 percentage points – from 41.7% in 2018 to 38.2% in 2019.

In the 4th quarter of 2019, there were 17.9 thousand long-term unemployed persons and in the 3rd quarter – 21.8 thousand. In the 4th quarter, the share of long-term unemployed persons in the total number of unemployed persons constituted 31.1 %. Compared to the 3rd quarter, the indicator has dropped by 5.9 percentage points.

Youth unemployment

In 2019, youth unemployment rate constituted 12.4%, which is 0.2 percentage points higher indicator than that recorded a year ago (12.2% in 2018). Out of the total number of unemployed persons, 7.7 thousand or 12.6% were young people aged 15–24. During the year, number of young unemployed persons fell by 0.3 thousand, whereas their share in the total number of unemployed persons grew by 1.6 percentage points.

In the 4th quarter of the previous year, youth unemployment rate constituted 10.1%, which is 1.2 percentage points lower indicator than registered in the 3rd quarter. The number of young unemployed persons dropped by 0.8 thousand and constituted 6.4 thousand or 11.0 % of the total number of unemployed persons (7.2 thousand or 12.2% in the 3rd quarter).

From 2013 to 2016, Latvian youth unemployment rate was lower than the EU average1, yet in 2017 it was 0.1 percentage points higher. In 2018, Latvian youth unemployment rate was 3.0 percentage points lower than the EU average (15.2%). However, Latvia still has the highest youth unemployment rate in the Baltic states, compared to 11.1% in Estonia and 11.9% in Lithuania.

In 2019, 36.3% of all young people were active, i.e., employed or actively seeking a job (unemployed), while 63.7% of young people were inactive (mainly studying and not seeking a job). In the 4th quarter, 37.3% of all young people were active, while 62.7% inactive.

Inactive population

In 2019, 30.6% or 428.2 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive (incl. 155.1 thousand people aged 65–74), i.e., were neither employed nor actively seeking a job. Compared to 2018, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 0.5 thousand or 0.1%. In the 4th quarter, 30.5% or 425.1 thousand people aged 15–74 were inactive. Compared to the 3rd quarter, inactive population grew by 3.8 thousand or 0.9%.

In 2019, 13.8 thousand people or 3.2% of the inactive population were discouraged to find a job (13.4 thousand people or 3.1% in 2018). In the 4th quarter, this population accounted for 13.0 thousand people or 3.1% of the inactive population (14.8 thousand people or 3.5% in the 3rd quarter).


In 2019, Labour Force Survey questions about economic activity were asked to 27.9 thousand people aged 15–74 living in 16.0 thousand households, while in the 4th quarter – to 6.9 thousand people aged 15–74 living in 3.9 thousand households.

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