Record-low Czech unemployment rate drops below 2 percent

Record-low Czech unemployment rate drops below 2 percent

Unemployment in the Czech Republic dropped again in the second quarter of 2019, falling below 2 percent. The number of self-employed is falling, and the number of employees is rising. The average age of a working person is also rising.

Total employment in the Czech Republic in the second quarter of 2019 increased compared to the same period last year, while the number of unemployed dropped. The general unemployment rate for people 15–64 years of age fell by 0.3 percentage points to 1.9 percent, according to International Labour Organization (ILO) methodology,

The number of persons in a main job increased by 6,700 persons, or 0.1 percent, year-on-year, to reach 5.295,900 persons. The number of employed men and the number of employed women grew by 5,900 and 800, respectively.

The of total employment growth rate, however, has been significantly declining since the second half of 2018.

The age structure of working persons is being affected by demographic factors, prolonged job preparation time and by increased full retirement age. The number of working persons up to 40 years of age was reduced by 56,300 persons. The major reason was the large generation born in the first half of 1970s has already moved to the elder age group.

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The number of working persons aged 45–49 years grew by 45,700 persons. The number of working persons aged 55–59 years increased by 24,000 persons. The number of working persons aged 65+ years increased by 6,300 persons.

The long-term trend in the average age of working persons reflects that the population is aging. The average age increased by two years since Q2 2010 to reach 43.3 years in Q2 2019. The average age of working women is 43.7 years, higher than that of men at 42.9 years.

There is also a change to the structure of working persons by status in employment. The number of persons with the status of employee grew by 14,000 persons year-on-year to reach 4,403,200 persons. On the contrary, the number of the self-employed with employees saw a decline by 3,300 persons, year-on-year, to reach 160,800 persons. The number of own-account workers (self-employed without employees) dropped by 2,400 persons year-on-year to attain 707,400 persons.

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Both employees and the self-employed are aging. Since Q2 2010 the average age of self-employed with employees has increased by 3.7 years to reach 49.0 years in Q2 2019. In the same period the average age of own-account workers grew by 2.6 years to attain 45.8 years. In all groups, the average age of women is higher than that of men.

The employment rate, counted as a percentage of working persons in the 15–64 age group, grew by 0.3 percentage points compared to the second quarter of 2018, to reach 75.0 percent. The male employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to reach 82.0 percent, and the female employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to attain 67.8 percent.

The total number of the unemployed in Q2 2019 declined by 15,800 persons, year-on-year, and reached 102,400 persons. Both the number of the unemployed women dropped by 10,700 persons to reach 55,100 persons. The number of the unemployed men fell by 5,100 persons to attain 47,300 persons. At the same time, the number of persons unemployed for one year and longer declined by 2,700 persons, year-on-year, and so the total number of them reached 33,000 persons.

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Data was collected also on persons who do not work and do not seek a job in an active manner, and do not comply with the ILO conditions for the unemployed, yet they state they would like to be working.

In Q2 2019 the number of such persons was 104,600 persons, or 3,700 persons less than in the same period of 2018. But many of these people are not available right away. Actually, there are just 35,100 persons able to start in a job within a fortnight, at the latest.

Raymond Johnston

Prague-based journalist with over three decades of media experience writing about culture, business, and travel. Folktale and legend expert, and avid photographer. Follow him on Instagram at @raymondjohnston4 or visit his blog

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