Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Czech Employment and Unemployment Q4 2007

According to data released last week by the Czech Statistics Office, In Q4 2007, total employment grew by 105.6 thousand year-on-year to reach the highest level achieved in the last eleven years. The number of employees rose by 97.4 thousand and of the self-employed by 10.2 thousand. The number of unemployed - according to ILO methodology - was down by 86.5 thousand year-on-year, while the number of long-term unemployed fell by 62.3 thousand. When compared with Q4 2006, the general unemployment rate in the age group 15-64 decreased by 1.7 percentage points to the lowest level since the end of 1997 (4.9%).


The number of first (main) jobholders in Q4 2007 was 4 967.3 thousand, up by 105.6 thousand more (+2.2%) year-on-year. Employment thus reached it highest level since the start of 1997.

The number of working secondary school graduates with the maturita examination increased significantly (+66.6 thousand), and employed university and higher professional school graduates were also up (+28.1 thousand). This seems to be associated with a rapid growth in the education level of the young Czech population.

The number of employees increased by 97.4 thousand year-on-year to 4 155.1 thousand and their share in total employment was 83.6%. The number of the self-employed including family workers recorded a year-on-year rise of 10.2 thousand to 798.7 thousand and the share of the self-employed sector in total employment slightly decreased compared to Q4 2006 and reached 16.1%.

The growth in total employment largely took place in the secondary sector (industry incl. construction) where the increase of persons in employment (+73.1 thousand) was nearly twice as high as the increase in the entire tertiary sector (all services incl. transport). Employment grew the most in manufacturing (+60.7 thousand); the Czech Republic has the highest percentage of people employed in manufacturing (28.8%) among all the EU countries.

Employment rate

This is the proportion of first (main) jobholders in the total 15-64 age group, and it reached 66.5% in Q4 2007, up by 0.9 percentage points year-on-year. Male and female employment rates grew by 1.3 percentage points to 75.5% and by 0.5 points to 57.4% respectively. The increase of first (main) jobholders was partly offset by a drop in the number of second jobholders (decrease by 13.7 thousand to 83.3 thousand).


The average number of unemployed - using ILO methodology - decreased by 13.6 thousand quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted). The total number of unemployed reached 252.8 thousand (of which 143.6 thousand were females), which was the lowest level since the mid-1997. In comparison to Q4 2006, the total number of the unemployed decreased by 86.5 thousand (-25.5%).

Generally, unemployment dropped more rapidly among persons in the young and middle working age groups. Male unemployment dropped more (by 44.9 thousand), especially in the five-year age group 20-24 (by 10.4 thousand). Female unemployment decreased by 41.6 thousand year-on-year, most in the young age group 20-24 (by 11.6 thousand). A majority of all the unemployed (71.5%) are persons with secondary education without maturita examination and persons with basic education.

The number of persons unemployed for one year or more decreased by 62.3 thousand year-on-year to 122.8 thousand and their percentage is below half of all the unemployed (48.6%). This percentage of the long-term unemployed is still high within the EU. An extraordinarily high percentage of persons out of work for a long time can be found in the group of the unemployed with basic education (65.1% of all unemployed persons with basic education); in the group of unemployed persons with secondary education without maturita examination the percentage is 46.2%. The total number of persons unemployed more than four years decreased by 8.7 thousand to 49.5 thousand (19.6% of the total number of unemployed persons).

Unemployment Rate

The general unemployment rate according to the International Labour Organisation (derived for the age group 15-64) reached a ten-year minimum of 4.9% in Q4 2007. Compared to Q4 2006 it decreased by 1.7 percentage points. The general unemployment rate in the Czech Republic is in the long-term below both the EU25 average and the euro area average.

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