Czech unemployment figures fall in February

Photo: Filip Jandourek

The Czech unemployment rate fell in February from 7.7 percent a month earlier to 7.5, with those out of work numbering a little under 550,000, roughly 8,000 fewer than in January. A year ago, unemployment in the country stood at 8.6 percent.

Photo: Filip Jandourek
The numbers released by the Czech Employment Office this week are encouraging, revealing that the unemployment rate has continued to fall, in part because of unseasonably mild weather. The jobless rate in February dropped to 7.5 percent, with the situation improving on the labour market improving with the return of seasonal jobs. On Monday, Czech TV reported that companies and agencies recruiting include firms in transport, construction but also client services, such as the hotel and tourism sectors.

Jaromír Kučera, a transport company representative, spoke to the public broadcaster:

“The period of slowdown or decline is coming to an end. Things are beginning to pick up at last. So we are able to take on more drivers than might otherwise be the case.”

Kateřina Sadilková, the acting head of the Employment Office, also called the figures more positive this year.

“In many regions, we have seen the lowest February rate for the past couple of years. There are several reasons - a mild winter, a steadily rising number of vacancies, active communication between the office and employers and last but not least the reviving economy.”

In February, the number of job vacancies rose by 6,700 to almost 69,000. According to ČTK, 76 districts reported a month-on-month drop in unemployment. The biggest fall in unemployment was registered in Rychnov nad Kněžnou (5.6 percent), Jičín (4.9) and Plzeň-north (4.6). The only area where unemployment grew in the same period was Jeseník, up by 0.2 percent.

By districts, Prague-East had unemployment of 3.3 percent, followed by Mladá Boleslav with 4.3 percent. In contrast, the highest rates of 13.4 and 12.7 percent were in Bruntál and Most, respectively. There were 7.9 job seekers per vacancy in February.