RIGA - Even though the European Commission predicts that the average unemployment rate in Latvia could amount to 15 percent this year, the Welfare Ministry estimates that it could reduce to 12.1 percent this year and 10.9 percent next year.
According to the ministry's report, the average number of unemployed could amount to 120,000 persons in 2012, reducing to approximately 109,000 people in 2013.
The Welfare Ministry predicts that the situation on the Latvian labor market will continue to improve during the next few years, however, a medium-term disproportion between labor force demand and supply will remain. The report also states that, without considerable changes in support to Latvia's regions, regional labor market polarization will remain a long-term issue.
The ministry emphasizes that the main challenges on the Latvian labor market are: considerable numbers of long-term unemployed, young job seekers, the unequal development of Latvia's regional economies. The ministry informs that, to solve the issues of youth and regional unemployment, additional 26.000 lats are required.