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2020.04.23 16:06

One-sixth of Lithuania's labour force out of work – minister

Paulius Viluckas, BNS2020.04.23 16:06

Around 200,000 people in Lithuania, or more than one-sixth of the country's working population, are currently not working due to the coronavirus quarantine, according to Social Security and Labour Minister Linas Kukuraitis.

The number includes people who have been furloughed, are on sick leave and in self-isolation, in addition to those who have been laid off.

Read more: Around 30,000 people lose jobs in Lithuania during quarantine

“Through our instruments that are used both by employees and businesses, we currently see about 200,000 workers in some form of unemployment,” Kukuraitis told the radio Žinių Radijas on Thursday.

While 200,000 is a very big number, relatively few of them have applied for unemployment, according to the minister.

“We have a hired labour force of 1.2 million and over 100,000 self-employed people,” he said. “[200,000] is a really large number of people and it's good that the Employment Service is not yet flooded by the unemployed.”

Kukuraitis previously said that some 30,000 people were laid off since the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine.

According to the Employment Service, Lithuania's registered unemployment edged up by 0.3 percentage points last week. The rate has increased by almost 2 percentage points since the start of the quarantine in mid-March.