Unemployment rate recouped its recent losses and shot up back to the 9% level, as 18 thousand more people could not find a job in July than in June. The rise was expected, as seasonal factors that helped to tame unemployment in spring had waned and now even push unemployment higher. Recent graduates contributed almost a half to newly unemployed and they constitute almost 15% of all unemployed (a new law forbids to take graduates for a three-month probation period, so employers turn them off entirely).
As the regional distribution of unemployment is concerned, western region of Most has the highest unemployment rate above 20%. Prague and surrounding regions enjoy unemployment rate below 3%.
Although unemployment rate jumped by 0.3 percentage points, it is still well below its peak in January (9.8%) and we expect it to grow only modestly to 9.5% by the end of this year. Thus, at the end of 2000 we should see the same unemployment rate as at the end of 1999. Also, unemployed workers have a better chance to find a job now than they had a year ago: there is 9.5 unemployed registered for a job offering, while a year ago the ratio was 12.5.
(Monika Prochazkova and Ondrej Schneider)