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Unemployment in the 1st quarter of 2021
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Unemployment in the 1st quarter of 2021

Last update: 04.06.2021
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Publisher: Headquarters Bratislava
Topic: Demographic and social statistics
Domain: Labour
Publish Date: 04.06.2021

(according to the Labour Force Survey) 1)

Unemployment continued to rise in the first quarter, the number of unemployed persons was by a quarter higher than a year ago and the unemployment rate increased by 7,1 %

A change in EU legislation has led to significant methodological changes in the LFS, which has limited the possibility to compare current data in longer time series.

A rise in the unemployment, which was reflected in the three quarters of last year, did not stop even at the beginning of 2021. The total number of unemployed persons according to the Labour Force Survey 2) reached 190,3 thousand of persons and increased by 23,2 % year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021. The unemployment rate increased by 1,5 percentage points (p.p.) to 7,1 % compared to the same period last year.

For the purposes of the analysis, it is important to note that significant changes followed from changes in EU legislation have been made in the methodology in the Labour Force Survey since 2021, as a result of which data from 2021 are not compatible with data for previous periods and it is therefore not possible to compare them in time series. At least for purposes of the basic characteristics of changes in the labour market, only the basic year-on-year indices were recalculated as much as possible according to the new methodology, but not the absolute values in the first quarter of 2020 or older LFS data.

After seasonal adjustment, the number of unemployed persons increased by 2,3 % to 194,2 thousand of persons compared to the previous period (with the 4th quarter of 2020).

As for the short-term unemployment, particularly unemployment lasted from 6 to 11 months, the number of persons in this group doubled year-on-year.

The highest number of unemployed persons increased in  the age group less than 49 years old, especially in the age group of 35-49 years, in which the number of unemployed increased by 3,8 %. The year-on-year increase in the number of unemployed people in the other two groups (25-34 year old and 15-24 year olds) was around 20 %.

The number of unemployed without work experience increased by 1,4 p.p.  and accounted for 23,7 % of total unemployment. In terms of the economic activity of the last employer, most people last worked in industry, accommodation and food service activities and in trade.

The unemployed persons increased in all regions, the largest  up to twofold increase was recorded in Trnavský kraj. In other regions, a rise in the number of unemployed persons was also significant, with only two being below 10 %. The highest unemployment rate, up to a quarter of the total number of unemployed, was in Prešovský kraj (48,6 thousand of persons), as well as the highest unemployment rate, which was the only one with a double digit value (12,4 %). However, its fastest year-on-year growth was in Trnavský kraj (by 3,3 p.p.).

Methodological change:

Since 2021, significant methodological changes have been made in the Labor Force Survey as a result of which data from 2021 are not compatible with data for previous periods and it is therefore not possible to compare them in a longer than year-on-year time series.

As there is a demand for information that characterizes the real development of the labour market, we have replaced the missing figures on the development of the main indicators with estimates of comparable indices at the year-on-year level. The indices were calculated from comparable estimates, i. e. the data for the first quarter of 2020 were adjusted in a way that corresponded as much as possible to the new methodology. It is not possible to make a comprehensive adjustment of last year's data, or data in previous years, according to the new methodological rules.

A result is currently published data with absolute LFS values according to the new methodology and with year-on-year indices calculated from comparable data, which, however, do not correspond to the published data in 2020 and previous years.

A change in the methodology at European level has resulted from the new Regulation (EU) 2019/1700 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households, based on individual data collected from samples (IESS) and subsequent implementing and delegated regulations.

According to the new LFS methodology, persons on paid activation work no longer belong, inter alia, to the group of employed persons, but persons on parental leave are also newly included to employed persons. More detailed information in Note 2 and in chapter Demography and social statistics/Labour/Selected indicators – methodological notes

The LFS methodology is in line with international definitions and recommendations of the ILO and Eurostat
2) Unemployed persons according to the new LFS methodology valid in the EU since 2021 (IESS) are all persons aged 15 to 74 who meet 3 criteria at the same time: in the monitored (reference) week they had no paid work, they are able start work within 2 weeks and are actively looking for work (full definition in Commission Regulation (EU) No 2019/2240). Data per sample were calculated using new integrated weights for the population adjusted by persons in collective facilities. The indices are calculated from comparable year-on-year estimates (data for the first quarter of 2020 have been adjusted to correspond as much as possible to the new methodology and to express a change from last year's situation.
p. b. percentage point

Source: SOSR, DATAcube.

Unemployment by the Labour Force Sample Survey (since 2021) [pr0101qs]

Unemployment by the Labour Force Sample Survey ( Years 2012 - 2020) [pr0901qs]

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