Unemployment rate goes up for the first time since February
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose in July after a steady fall since February of this year. Currently, unemployment stands at 5.4 percent – up from 5.2 in June. The rise, at least in part, is due to new graduates entering the labour market who have yet to secure work. In all, more than 392,000 people are out of work.
Significantly, coinciding with the new unemployment figures just released, some 136,000 jobs are now on offer, the highest total in eight years. Many firms, from courier services to online sales companies, are offering jobs; some, Czech TV reported Monday, have been hiring as many as 70 new workers a month. Lucie Lžičarová, who works for a courier firm told the broadcaster she was happy to have found a job which suited her. “I like the fact that I don’t spend the day in an office, that I’m on my own and that I am not working freelance.”
“There are large barriers to attracting new workers. One of them is the level of wages. I was looking at the gross wage offered, for example, of a machinist and the total is between 15,000 – 18,000 crowns a month. That is a wage which is barely above the poverty line. That is not okay. So we see that as a major barrier to some people taking jobs.”
“What we are planning is to makes things considerable tougher for the long-term unemployed and to make it more difficult for them to make undeclared money on the side.”