RIGA - Latvia currently has the highest proportion of jobseekers among the Baltic countries.
In Lithuania, jobseekers constitute 14.5 percent of the economically-active population, in Estonia - 11.5 percent, business portal Nozare.lv was informed by the Finance Ministry.
In Latvia, there were 166,700 jobseekers or 16.3 percent of the economically-active population in the first quarter of 2012, according to a workforce survey carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau.
In the first quarter of the year, the number of residents employed in Latvia's economy increased 2.6 percent from the corresponding period in 2011, while the number of jobseekers reduced to 16.3 percent, according to the Central Statistical Bureau's data.
857,600 persons were employed in the country in the first quarter of 2012 - 2.6 percent more than in the first quarter of 2011. The increase in the number of employed was the only reason behind the reduction in the number of jobseekers to 16.3 percent, compared to 17.6 percent in the respective period in 2011, points out the Finance Ministry.
Last year, the registered unemployment rate in Latvia decreased at the expense of reducing economically-active population. In the first quarter of 2012, however, the number of economically active residents increased 0.9 percent or 9,500 from the first quarter of 2011. Increasing economic activity is one the indicators confirming that the situation on Latvia's labor market improves. The share of economically-active residents increased to 65.1 percent of the total population in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011. At the same time, the number of economically-inactive residents, who had lost hope of finding a new job, reduced 22 percent or 10,000.
The Finance Ministry predicts that, by maintaining strong economic growth, employment numbers will continue to increase, while the registered unemployment rate will go down.