Friday, July 18, 2014

Latvia: First Prize For What, Exactly?

Cato’s Steve Hanke awarded “1st Prize” to Latvia for its lowest misery index score among former Soviet Republics. He notes that to the extent there is misery in Latvia, the “Major Contributing Factor” is Latvia’s unemployment rate, currently at 10.7 percent according to the IMF.

What Hanke leaves out is the fact that unemployment is so low because there has been a mass exodus of workers out of the Latvian labor market– and indeed the country. Since 2008, Latvia’s population has fallen 7.4 percent and the labor force has fallen by a whopping 16.7 percent.

(source)

First prize to Latvia indeed!