Investing in Youth: Latvia

image of Investing in Youth: Latvia

This report provides a detailed diagnosis of the youth labour market and education system in Latvia from an international comparative perspective, and offers tailored recommendations to help improve school-to-work transitions. It also provides an opportunity for other countries to learn from the innovative measures that Latvia has taken to strengthen the skills of youth and their employment outcomes, notably through the implementation of a Youth Guarantee.


English Also available in: Latvian

Executive summary

The situation of youth in the Latvian labour market has changed dramatically over the last decade. After plummeting in the years of catch-up growth since the mid-2000s, unemployment among 15 to 29 year-olds increased threefold during the recent deep recession of 2009 to reach 28.3% of active youth in 2010. The share of youth not in employment, education or training (the NEET rate) soared to 22%. The economic recovery that started in 2011 allowed for a quick return of NEET rates back close to the OECD average – a trend that was not observed in many other countries heavily hit by the crisis. In 2013, the NEET rate was 16.5%, and it continues to decline. The main driver of the recovery for youth was however not job creation but the demographic situation: the strong increase in employment rates since 2010 can be explained primarily by a decline of the youth population, due to both low birth rates and high emigration, while the number of youth in employment increased only little.


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