Czech Republic sees jump in unemployment at the end of 2021

As unemployment rises to 3.5 percent, the new Czech government looks to create better conditions for foreigners on the domestic labor market.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.01.2022 11:49 (updated on 10.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Unemployment in the Czech Republic increased at the end of last year, according to the Labor Office. The number of unemployed rose to 3.5 percent at the end of last year, which is two-tenths of a percentage point more than in November.

258,173 people applied for jobs, roughly 12,600 more than a month earlier. At the same time, there was a slight decrease in vacancies to 343,148. On average, there are 0.8 job seekers per vacancy.

From March through November of last year, unemployment had dropped continuously.

Seasonal factors – such as the end of seasonal work, and a larger share of people whose term employment contracts and agreements have ended – played a role in the increase, say analysts.

"Unlike 2020, it was more favorable despite the ongoing epidemic situation and the security measures taken. Compared to the same period in December of the previous year, the number of unemployed decreased and the number of vacancies increased year on year," Labor Office director Viktor Najmon, said.

In a year-on-year comparison, December unemployment was 0.5 points lower, and the number of job seekers decreased by almost 34,000 year-on-year. The number of vacancies offered by employers through labor offices was almost 24,600 higher year-on-year and almost 1,700 lower month-on-month.

Unemployment was highest in December in the Moravian-Silesian and Ústí regions, where it reached 5.1 percent. The Karlovy Vary region followed with 4.2 percent. According to the Labor Office, these regions had the highest unemployment rate in December 2020, which corresponds to their long-term economic situation.

The lowest unemployment rate remains in the Pardubice Region, which was 2.4 percent at the end of last year.

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At the district level, the lowest unemployment rate in December was recorded in the Prague-East district, at 1.3 percent. It was only slightly higher, 1.7 percent, in the districts of Prague-West, Rychnov nad Kněžnou and Benešov. At the other end of the scale, Karviná ended with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. Unemployment also reached over six percent in the districts of Bruntál and Most.

Most applicants for unemployment had a high school diploma and basic education; the average age of the unemployed was 43.5 years in December, compared to 42.6 years last year. 

Three-quarters of vacancies registered by employment offices are intended for applicants with basic or lower education, and most are also suitable for foreigners. Employers are interested in workers, forklift operators, production assistants or truck drivers, and cleaners. 

The highest demand for new employees is in Prague, where the Labor Office registered 88,785 vacancies at the end of the year, and in the Central Bohemian Region with 62,441 vacancies.

In December, 82,281 people received unemployment benefits, which was almost 32 percent of all job seekers. On average, it was CZK 9,232 per month.

In the coming months, the new Czech government will try to open the domestic labor market to foreign workers by offering more long-stay visas to employees from the countries of the former Soviet Union, Vietnam and Cuba, Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) told Czech Television through the weekend.

The idea would be to bolster the economy by supporting local companies in sectors where there is a shortage of workers.

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