Illustrative photo – Unemployment in the Czech Republic, percentage of unemployed persons aged 15-64
Prague – Unemployment in the Czech Republic stagnated in February this year, when it stood at 3.9 percent, just like in January. This follows from data published by the Labor Office of the Czech Republic. There were about 282,500 people without work at the end of February, which was about 550 less than a month ago. Compared to January, the number of vacancies rose by approximately 2,000 to almost 283,100. Last February, unemployment was lower, at 3.5 percent. At the time, there were about 263,400 people out of work and 363,900 vacancies.
According to the office, the development of the labor market corresponds to the current season. Interest remains mainly in technical and manual professions and in the long term in qualified craftsmen. At the same time, the winter season continues in the mountain resorts. According to the Labor Office, employers are still more cautious in hiring new employees compared to the previous year, especially due to more expensive energy and raw materials. At the same time, however, most employers are trying to maintain the current levels of employees and are not planning significant layoffs, the office said.
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) expects a slight decrease in unemployment in the coming months. “The number of job applicants decreased month-on-month (in February) in absolute value. And with the onset of the spring months, we expect the annual start of seasonal work, especially in construction, forestry or agriculture,” he said regarding today's data. “At the same time, we are already noticing an increased interest on the part of cities and municipalities in workers in the framework of community service,” he added.
The highest unemployment in February was still in the Ústí Region with 5.8 percent. It remained above five percent even in the Moravian-Silesian region, where the share of unemployed was 5.2 percent. On the other hand, unemployment was the lowest in the Pilsen and Zlín regions, where it was equal to three percent.
Among the districts, unemployment was still the highest in Karvinsk, where it reached 8.4 percent. At the same time, this district had the highest number of job applicants for one vacant position. On average, there were 10.6 applicants for each vacant position in Karvinska. The lowest share of the unemployed was once again in the Praha-východ district, where 1.6 percent of people were looking for work. The same district also had the lowest number of applicants for one vacancy, namely 0.2 applicants.
Out of the total number of unemployed people in the Czech Republic, the vast majority are so-called attainable people, i.e. people who are able to start work immediately. At the end of February, there were about 258,000 of them, which was over 91 percent of all unemployed. A slight majority of the unemployed are women, who made up roughly 53 percent of the unemployed in February. The average age of the unemployed was 43.3 years in February. It decreased slightly year-on-year, last year it was 43.8 years. People without work were most often people with lower qualifications, especially those with an apprenticeship without a high school diploma and with a basic education.
At the end of February, according to the labor office, 98,215 citizens of Ukraine with temporary protection who left their country because of the Russian invasion were working in the Czech Republic. They most often worked as assembly workers, helpers in construction, production and transport or as operators of stationary machines and equipment. Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine at the end of February last year, a total of about 205,000 people from Ukraine under temporary protection have found work in the Czech Republic, some of whom have already returned home or left their jobs. Most of the employed refugees from Ukraine, about three quarters, were women.
The Labor Office of the Czech Republic has been without a director since the middle of February this year. Labor offices have faced an onslaught since last year and have been criticized for delayed processing and payment of benefits. In connection with this, Minister Jurečka repeatedly criticized the head of the office, Viktor Najmon, whom he dismissed in mid-February. Najmon denies any wrongdoing and has filed an appeal against the decision to resign. The Labor Office of the Czech Republic is temporarily headed by the senior director of the information technology section of the Ministry of Labor, Karel Trpkoš.
Development of unemployment in the Czech Republic:
|January 2023||February 2023|
|Share of unemployed (in percent)||3.9||3.9|
|Number of unemployed||283,059||282,508|
|Number of vacancies||281,141||283,097|
Source: Labor Office CR