Unemployment Rate in the Czech Republic Going Up Faster Than EU Average

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The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic increased by 0.4 percentage points in May compared with last year, recording the highest rate since August 2018. EU-wide, the same unemployment rate of 6.7% was recorded in May 2020 as in May 2019, and the rate has only risen by 0.2 points since February. Photo: Stock image via Pixabay.

Prepared by Tessa Adamson (Brno Daily)

Czech Rep., Jul 7 (JS) – In the third month after the novel coronavirus pandemic first bit hard in the EU in 2020, Eurostat recorded an average unemployment rate of 6.7%, the same as one year earlier. In the Czech Republic, the unemployment rate rose to 2.5% in May, according to the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO). This is a year-on-year increase of 0.5 percentage points (pp), and the highest since August 2018.

The Czech Republic has, so far, seen a steeper increase in unemployment than the EU overall since the pandemic hit. The Czech unemployment rate stood at 2% in February, and has increased every month since, rising by 0.1pp in March, and 0.2pp in April and May. In the EU overall, the unemployment rate actually saw a small decline in March before rising, with a total increase of 0.2pp.

At the same time, those employed in the Czech Republic are seeing their working hours increase. While April saw a significant 22% year-on-year drop in hours worked, CSZO reported that the total time worked has seen a smaller year-on-year drop of 8% in May, as lockdown measures were gradually relaxed.

The unemployment rate remains relatively low compared to the past decade. Photo: Pexels.

Between 2009 and 2019, the EU average unemployment rate never dropped below 8%, and for six years, from 2010-2016, it remained above 10%, with a peak of 12% in 2013.

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