23.May .2021 22:07

Unemployment and social expenditures

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In Georgia we see the same tendency - unemployment rate continues to hike amidst pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021 it increased by 3.7 percentage points compared to the same period of the previous year and it now equals 21.9% - this is what the preliminary data from the National Statistics’ Office - Geostat tells us.

This is what we read in the official report which was released this week: “In the I quarter of 2021 labour force (economically active population) constituted 48.3 % of the working age population (population aged 15 and older), which is 3.0 percentage points less than that was to the corresponding period of the previous year, while employment rate decreased by 4.2 percentage points and equaled to 37.7%. The Labour force participation rate (economic activity rate) in urban settlements decreased by 2.3 percentage points, while that decreased by 3.8 percentage points in rural settlements. The employment rate decreased in urban settlements by 4.9 percentage points and by 3.3 percentage points in rural settlements. In the I quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate in urban settlements increased by 5.7 percentage points compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, while in rural settlements that increased by 0.4 percentage points”, the report reads.

One implication of this tendency that Giorgi Kakauridze, Deputy Finance Minister has focused on is that the hiking number has resulted in growth of the state's social expenditures. "Increase in unemployment has affected social expenditures as well. A certain category of families has fallen below the threshold when they need help from the budget, and this is an additional expense for the budget. However, it is a bit early to assess how soon the economy will recover after the lifting of regulations. Of course, some load will remain on the budget, as a full recovery will not be possible this year. It is likely to take 2-3 years to return to pre-pandemic levels” - that’s what we heard from the deputy minister.

Who also added that the second half of the year would be a big step forward in the direction of the economic recovery. “From next year, it will be possible to assess whether it is a steady increase of unemployment or not and how it will increase social spending, "- Giorgi Kakauridze said.

#TheCheckpoints - 23.05.2021