The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell to a new low in May, at 2.6 percent down from 2.7 percent the previous month. The drop was in line with expectations and is attributed to seasonal work.
Labour offices registered 200,675 unemployed in May, with vacancies far exceeding that number at 346,552. The number of vacancies was up by 6,600 compared to the previous month, reflecting greater demand for seasonal workers in the construction industry, gastronomy, tourism, agriculture, forestry and the spa industry, among others.
According to analysts unemployment may grow slightly in the course of the summer with fresh graduates coming on the market but it is still expected to stay below 3 percent for the remainder of the year. Chief economist at ING Jakub Seidler told the CTK news agency the unemployment rate did not yet reflect the global economic slowdown, noting that there was always a delayed effect which might not make itself felt for several more months.
The lowest unemployment rate is currently in the regions of Pardubice, Plzen and South Bohemia where it stands at less than two percent. The highest is in Moravia-Silesia where it is at just over 4 percent.
Employers say they lack skilled craftsmen, labourers and IT specialists above all other professions.
With unemployment at 2.6, the lowest since 1997, the Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate not only in the European Union but in the OECD. In the OECD this level of unemployment is only comparable to than in Japan and Island.
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