ArmInfo. According to the new forecast of the Central Bank of Armenia, the unemployment rate in 2020 will increase to 20.2% (from the actual 18.9% in 2019). In 2021, with a reduction in measures to eliminate the consequences on the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate will rise to 21.2%. In the medium term, in parallel with the economic recovery, this indicator will decrease annually by 0.5 percentage points - to 20% (against the previously expected 19.6%). This forecast is given in the Monetary Policy Program of the Central Bank for the III quarter of 2020, published on September 30, where it was noted that the forecast for GDP for 2020 deteriorated to a larger decline of 6.2% from the previously expected 4%.
According to the Central Bank of Armenia, the deep economic downturn in 2020 will affect the labor market by adjusting working hours and wages, while the unemployment rate will have a weak impact due to the government's support programs. In the private sector, nominal wages will increase by almost 3.1% in 2020 due to a significant decline in productivity, and in the medium term, the growth of this indicator will depend on economic growth and inflation behavior. In 2021, nominal wages in the private sector will rise by 3.4%, and by the end of the forecast horizon, growth will approach 6%.
In parallel with the slowdown in productivity, the impact of the downturn on unemployment will be limited due to the government's efforts to preserve jobs in certain areas. In the short term, inflationary pressures will be maintained in the labor market, the gradual neutralization of which in the medium term will occur as a result of accelerated economic growth and recovery of productivity.
According to the RA Statistical Committee, in 2019 the average annual unemployment rate in Armenia was 18.9%, against 20.5% in 2018 and 20.8% in 2017. It is noteworthy that the actual unemployment rate recorded in 2019 fully coincided with the indicator predicted by the Central Bank. Full coincidence of the forecasts of the Central Bank with the actual level of unemployment was also recorded at the end of 2018, and in 2017 the resulting figure was only 0.1 percentage points was below the expectations of the Central Bank. It is noteworthy that since 2019, the unemployment rate has been calculated using a new methodology, without taking into account those employed in the household, in accordance with which the indicators have also been recalculated in comparable dynamics. In this regard, the Central Bank in 2019 in the forecasts began to indicate the unemployment rate already in the calculation according to the new method.
According to statistics, as of January 1, 2020, according to the new methodology, the number of employed population in Armenia reached 946.8 thousand people (with an annual growth of 4.3%) or 46.8% of the economically active population (against 45.2% in 2018). Andthere on this date 220.5 thousand people were unemployed, with an annual decline of 5.8%.