Czech Unemployment Dropped to 6.2 Percent in September

Czech unemployment dropped to 6.2 percent in September from 6.4 percent in August, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said Monday.


In September 2006, unemployment reached 7.7 percent. Economists expected the drop in jobless rate mainly because school graduates start work in September.

An increasing number of companies may start to feel the effect of the shortage of staff or limited choice among job applicants, Horska said.

In November, unemployment should drop below 6 percent. In full year 2007, the average jobless rate should stand below 7 percent, the lowest level since 1998, she added.

Employment offices registered 364,978 job seekers at end-September, a drop of 7,781 people month-on-month, of which 340,371 could start work at once, or some 10,859 less against end-August.

Job offers do not correspond to demand, which will create pressure on growth in real wages, reduce companies' profitability and limit the growth in investment and production, Navratil said.

Tomas Vlk from Patria Online estimates jobless rate could drop below 6 percent in the fourth quarter. There is a chance unemployment could already fall below the 6-percent level in October, he added.

Unemployment in the neighbouring countries is also decreasing. In Slovakia, jobless rate fell to an all-time low of 8.19 percent in August. In Poland, unemployment dropped to 12 percent.

Czech employment offices offered 137,429 job vacancies at end-September, a growth of 4,022 month-on-month. There were 2.7 applicants per vacancy on average in September.

Employment offices newly registered 56,775 job seekers in September, a growth of 12,856 month-on-month.

Women made up nearly 56 percent of job seekers, while disabled people accounted for 18 percent. School leavers and university graduates made up 8.6 percent.

Some 103,078 job seekers, or 28.2 percent of the total number, received unemployment benefits in September.

Czech EU-harmonised jobless rate calculated by the Eurostat office reached 5.3 percent in August. In Slovakia, EU-harmonised unemployment reached 11 percent.

The average EU jobless rate fell to 6.7 percent in August from 6.8 percent in July. Eurostat uses a different methodology to calculate unemployment than the Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.

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