Employment and unemployment as measured by the LFS - 1st quarter of 2020

The number of the economically inactive increased, year-on-year

Code: 250145-20

Total employment in the Q1 2020 decreased by 28.1 thousand persons, year-on-year (y-o-y) and reached 5 277.4 thousand persons. The number of the unemployed, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) methodology, dropped by 3.6 thousand persons, y-o-y. The general unemployment rate stagnated at 2.0%. The number of the economically inactive aged 15+ years has significantly increased, by 58.7 thousand.

In the Q1 2020, the seasonally adjusted average number of employed persons increased by 1.1 thousand persons, compared to the Q4 2019.

The number of working persons aged 15+ years decreased by 28.1 thousand persons, y-o-y, i.e. by 0.5%, to 5 277.4 thousand persons. The number of working males decreased by 4.9 thousand persons and the number of working females decreased by 23.2 thousand persons. The number of employees decreased by 21.5 thousand to 4 389.9 thousand. Concurrently, the total number of the self-employed decreased by 6.4 thousand persons due to a drop in the number of the self-employed with employees by 13.7 thousand. The deepest decrease of the self-employed with employees was in wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and at the same time in the age group of 45–54 years.

According to data for the Q1 2020, development of employment in individual economic activities (CZ-NACE sections) in the Czech Republic was often differing1). In the secondary sector of industry and construction, employment decreased, y-o-y (by 13.4 thousand), mainly due to a decrease in the number of working persons in manufacturing (by 41.5 thousand). On the contrary, the number of working persons increased, y-o-y, in construction and in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. In the tertiary sector of services, the total employment stagnated. On one hand, the number of working persons decreased in the section of ‘wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’, on the other hand, employment markedly increased in the ‘human health and social work activities’ section. In the primary sector of agriculture, forestry and fishing, the number of working persons decreased by 14.9 thousand persons, y-o-y.

The employment rate (percentage of working persons in the age group 15–64 years) has been exceeding 75% for the first time in the history of independent Czech Republic since the middle of the year 2018. In the Q1 2020, the rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point (p. p.) to 74.8% compared to the Q1 2019. The male employment rate decreased by 0.1 p. p. to 81.6% and the female employment rate dropped by 0.3 p. p. to 67.8%.

The seasonally adjusted average number of unemployed persons according to the ILO methodology2) decreased in the Q1 2020 by 6.7 thousand persons, compared to that in the Q4 2019.

The total number of the unemployed aged 15+ years decreased by 3.6 thousand persons, y-o-y, and reached 106.1 thousand persons. The number of the unemployed females dropped by 5.1 thousand persons to reach 49.6 thousand persons, while the number of the unemployed males increased by 1.5 thousand persons to reach 56.6 thousand persons. The number of persons unemployed for one year and longer decreased by 6.2 thousand persons, y-o-y, and reached 28.7 thousand persons.

The general unemployment rate according to the ILO definition in the age group
15–64 years (the share of the unemployed in the labour force, i.e. the sum of the employed and the unemployed) remained 2.0% in the Q1 2020.

As for regional comparison, the unemployment rate decreased the most in the Karlovarský Region (by 1.3 p. p., y-o-y, to 3.0%). In the Q1 2020, the highest unemployment rate was in the Moravskoslezský Region (3.3%) and the lowest one was the same in two regions – the Středočeský Region and the Hl. m. Praha Region (Capital City of Prague) (1.1%).

Along with the decrease of the number of the employed and the unemployed, the number of the economically inactive persons aged 15+ years significantly increased, year-on-year (by 58.7 thousand to 3 600.2 thousand). The number of economically inactive females increased more than the number of economically inactive males (the increase in females was by 36.0 thousand and that of males by 22.7 thousand). Especially the number of inactive persons aged 65+ years markedly increased (by 45.4 thousand to 1 980.5 thousand). Concurrently, there was also a rather big increase in the number of economically inactive secondary school pupils aged 15–19 years and in the age group of persons aged 30–39 years. As for the latter, they were mainly women taking care of children.

In the sample survey, data are collected also on persons, who do not work and do not seek a job in an active manner, and thus do not comply with the ILO conditions for the unemployed, yet they state that they would like to work. In the Q1 2020, the number of such persons was 93.4 thousand persons, i.e. by 11.2 thousand persons less than in the corresponding period of 2019. Majority of persons willing to work, however, is not able to start in a potential job immediately. Only 27.7 thousand of the persons are able to start in a job within a fortnight, at the latest.

1) Data for the aforementioned economic activities sections may be affected by the applied methodology of the Labour Force Sample Survey. The survey covers only persons living in private households. Data for persons living in collective accommodation establishments are not measured. These establishments, however, often give accommodation to foreign nationals.
2) The ILO methodology defines the unemployed as all persons above a specified age who during the reference period were without a job, did not work an hour for pay, and were in an active manner seeking job they would be able to join within two weeks at the latest. This methodology is uniform for all EU Member States and produces internationally comparable data. It should be noted that the definition of “the unemployed” by the ILO differs from the definition of “job applicants kept in the register of the labour offices” of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Responsible head at the CZSO
: Dalibor Holý, Head of the Labour Market and Equal Opportunities Statistics Department, phone number: (+420) 274 052 694, e-mail: dalibor.holy@czso.cz
Contact person: Marta Petráňová, Unit for Labour Forces, Migration and Equal Opportunities, phone number: (+420) 274 054 357, e-mail: marta.petranova@czso.cz
Data source: the CZSO, Labour Force Sample Survey (LFSS) conducted in selected private households; collective accommodation establishments are not included in the survey. The LFSS results have been grossed up to the total population of the Czech Republic using data of the population statistics as at 1 January 2020 and the prediction of the natural population change and net migration in the Q1 2020.
End of data collection: 20 April 2020
End of preliminary data processing: 24 April 2020
Related Internet-published document
: 250129-20 - “Employment and Unemployment in the Czech Republic as Measured by the Labour Force Sample Survey – Quarterly Data” with the final survey results will be available on the CZSO website by the end of the Q2 2020. (Home - We publish - Catalogue of Products - Employment and Unemployment)
Next News Release will be published on
: 3 August 2020

  • azam050420.docx
  • Annexes:
  • Table 1 Employed persons (status in the main job, absolute numbers, percentages, year-on-year increments, and indices)
  • Chart 1 The employed and the unemployed (absolute numbers)
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Published: 04.05.2020
The data are valid as of the release date of the publication.

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