By Stelios Orphanides
The unemployment rate dropped in the first quarter of the year to 13.5 per cent, which is 0.6 percentage points below that in the respective three-month period of 2016, the statistical service said.
The drop in the unemployment rate in January to March was mainly on a 3.5 per cent annual increase of the labour force to 423,794, which is the sum of the gainfully employed and the jobless population, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Friday. The number of unemployed dropped in January to March by only 168 to 57,420 which translates to an annual drop of 0.3 per cent, while the number of people with jobs rose by 14,357 or 4.1 per cent to 366,374.
The unemployment among youth dropped in the first quarter to 26.7 per cent from 29.8 per cent a year before, Cystat said. The percentage of jobless males was 13.5 per cent, down from 13.9 per cent, while unemployment among women dropped to 13.6 per cent from 14.3 per cent.
The ratio of long-term unemployed against the total number of persons without a job fell to 39 per cent in the first three months of the year from 41.2 per cent a year before, Cystat said.