William Malcolm

Czech Unemployment Falls To 3.9% In May

Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell to 3.9 percent in May from 4.1 percent in April. This follows from data published today by the Labor Office of the Czech Republic. Year-on-year, unemployment was three tenths of a percentage point higher. The number of job seekers in the Office’s records decreased by approximately 12,100 to 285,822 compared to April, while the number of vacancies increased by 3,200 to 346,604. Compared to last May, the number of vacancies increased by about 15,600, and the number of unemployed increased by almost 19,700 year-on-year. According to the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová (ČSSD), the numbers confirm that the decision to end the Antivirus program was a good one.

“These numbers confirm that we did well to shut down Antivirus except for quarantines. The economy is opening up and businesses will now stay on their feet without this injection,” the minister wrote on Twitter.. Antivirus was supposed to prevent redundancies. It provided wage and compensation contributions to companies that were affected by the imposed anti-coid restrictions and the coronavirus crisis. Wage payments in closed operations or when demand decreased decreased at the end of May. In June, companies from the Antivirus program will only be able to receive contributions for part of the compensation for people in quarantine, ie contribution A.

Viktor Najmon, Director General of the Labor Office of the Czech Republic, stated that a pandemic lasting over a year did not fundamentally affect unemployment in the Czech Republic. “In connection with the relaxation of protective measures, economic activities in the gastronomy, hotel industry, services, transport, etc. are being resumed, ie in areas where there have been significant economic losses. Many unemployed people have taken up employment as part of seasonal work, which is already “In full swing,” he said. In the coming months, he said, unemployment could fall slightly.

“The pandemic obviously did not shake the Czech labor market significantly and probably will not happen,” said Raiffeisenbank analyst Vít Hradil. He pointed out that in a Europe-wide comparison, the Czechia lost its previous primacy during the pandemic, when Poland took the place of the country with the lowest unemployment rate.

In May, 28,559 people were newly registered at the Labor Office, which is about 9,800 less than last year and about 5,300 less than two years ago, ie before the pandemic. The average age of the unemployed was 43.1 years in May, while last year it was 42.2 years. According to the Labor Office, the age structure of job seekers has not changed significantly over the last five years.

The highest share of the unemployed was in the Ústí Region, namely 5.8 percent, followed by the Karlovy Vary Region with 5.7 percent and the Moravian-Silesian Region with 5.6 percent. These three regions had the highest share of unemployed persons last May as well, which, according to the Labor Office, corresponds to the long-term economic situation of these regions. On the contrary, the lowest unemployment rate remains in the Pardubice Region – 2.6 percent. The situation changed the most in Prague, where the share of the unemployed increased by 0.9 percentage points year-on-year to 3.6 percent, and in the Karlovy Vary and Ústí nad Labem regions, where it increased by eight tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. .

Of the districts, the Pelhřimov region had the lowest unemployment in May, at 1.7 percent. The unemployment rate in the Rychnov nad Kněžnou district and in Prague-East and in Mladá Boleslav was one tenth of a percentage point higher, reaching two percent respectively. On the contrary, the highest share of the unemployed. 9.2 percent, recorded the district of Karviná, in the Most region it was 7.6 percent and in Ostrava-město 6.9 percent.

There are on average 0.8 job seekers per vacancy in the Czech Republic, the most of which, almost ten, are in the Karviná district. In the Sokolovská and Most regions, there are over five people per vacancy. Employers most often look for workers in production and construction. They are interested in building construction workers, assembly workers, forklift operators, production assistants, cleaners and assistants in administrative and industrial buildings, truck drivers, bricklayers and cooks. The highest demand for new employees is in Prague (92,204 places) and in the Central Bohemian Region (64,541).

According to Jan Vejmělek, the chief economist of Komerční banka, the outlook for the labor market remains encouraging for the coming summer months, as it will be reduced by continued seasonality and the opening of services. “The share of the unemployed may fall to 3.7 to 3.8 percent in the summer months, even though this year’s new graduates will enter the market,” he said.