Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 of a percentage point (pp) to 13.9% in 2017, continuing the downtrend of the last eight years, data from the state statistics office Geostat shows.
Unemployment remained highest among young people, reaching as high as 29.6% for 20-24 year olds, even though it declined by 3.2pp for this age group compared to 2016.
The unemployment rate declines steadily as ages increase though, as Geostat points out, the low level for the 65+ age group is due to the high inactivity rate in this age group.
By region, Geostat reports an increase in the unemployment rate in the capital Tbilisi (by 1.6pp), and in regions Shida Kartli (2.0pp), Kvemo Kartli (3.5pp) and Imereti (1.2pp). The largest declines were in Adjara and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, where unemployment fell by 5.8pp and 3.4pp respectively.
Georgia’s unemployment rate is higher than the rates of most EU countries, though below the rates of crisis-hit Spain and Greece, most of the Western Balkan countries, and neighbouring Armenia.
Geostat made fundamental changes to how it compiles its labour force statistics in 2017, after new data in the population dynamics and the population’s geographic distribution in the country were revealed by the 2014 census. At the same time, new measures were taken with support from the World Bank and other international organisations and partners to improve the labour indicators.