Employment sets new records

Women reach highest share of workforce, and employment hits a new high

Employment in the Czech Republic set a new record at the end of 2016, and women have been getting hired at a faster pace than men. The employment rate of 15 to 64 year olds was 72.9 percent, the highest since the Czech Republic became independent in 1993. The share of women in total employment is now at 44.2 percent, which is also a record, according to the Czech Statistical Office. Unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2016 was at 3.6 percent, a drop of 0.9 percentage points year-on-year. The highest unemployment rate is among people with only a primary level of education.

The number of self-employed people also rose substantially. People over 40 and also over 60 are getting hired in high numbers as well. The country also retains its mantle as the country in the EU with the lowest unemployment.

The number of persons with a main job increased 2.2 percent year-on-year, to reach 5,186,900 persons.

While the number of working persons aged from 35 to 39 years declined slightly, the number of working persons aged 40+ years substantially increased by 109,700. The number of working persons aged 60+ years increased by 40,600, which is 36.6 percent of the total increase in employment.

Working persons are dominated by employees. Their number increased to 4,282,600 persons. The share of employees in total employment, 82.6 percent, was almost unchanged year-on-year.

The number of the self-employed as a main job, including contributing family workers, increased by 33,300 to 904,200 persons compared to Q4 2015.

While the number of self-employed with employees and the number of contributing family workers decreased, the number of the self-employed without employees grew by 45,800 persons and is now 713,800 persons.

The employment rate (percentage of working persons in the 15-64 year old group) grew by 2.1 percentage points compared to Q4 2015, reaching 72.9 percent, the highest value in history of the independent Czech Republic. The male employment rate increased by 1.4 percentage points to 80.0 percent. The female employment rate increased by 2.8 percentage points to 65.6 percent. Women now make a record 44.2 percent of the Czech workforce.

The total number of the unemployed declined by 44,400 persons year-on-year in Q4 and reached 192,500 persons. The general unemployment rate in the age group 15-64 years decreased by 0.9 percentage points compared to Q4 2015 and dropped to 3.6 percent in Q4 2016.

What increased most was the number of working persons with tertiary educational attainment, by 5.1 percent.

The unemployment rate declined year-on-year in all levels of educational attainment. University graduates show a low unemployment rate (1.8 percent) and the same can be seen for the persons having secondary education with A-level examination (2.3 percent). The unemployment rate also declined year-on-year in the large group of those having secondary education without A-level examination, including persons with apprenticeship certificates (by 0.7 percentage points to give 3.9 percent). A high unemployment rate (18.7 percent) pertains to people with primary education, although it significantly decreased by 4.1 percentage points year-on-year.

According to most recent statistics from Eurostat, the EU's statistical arm, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Czech Republic in December 2016 was 3.7 percent, the lowest in the 28-country bloc. Iceland, which has partnerships with the EU but is not a member, was at 2.8 percent. Germany was in second place with 4.1 percent, followed by Hungary, Malta and the UK. The highest rate was Greece at 23.1 percent, followed by Spain at 19.2 percent.

The EU-28 average was 8.3 percent, while in the eurozone it was 9.8 percent. Eurostat estimates that 20.065 million men and women in the EU-28 were unemployed in December 2016, including 15.571 million in the eurozone.

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