In today's news:
- Lauma, the main Latvian lingerie producer, plans to lay off 100 workers and move the manufacturing to cheaper countries (Russia or Ukraine);
- Laima, the main Latvian chocolate producer, may temporarily stop production after the consumers have cut back on the more expensive sweets. (The company denied the report.)
Both companies have been around for very long time and have succesfully weathered the transition from Soviet Union to the market economy. Just like the electrical equipment manufacturer Rebir which closed earlier this year.
So, it's quite alarming sequence of news stories. Statistically, though, the March 2008 unemployment rate was at 4.9%, just barely above the all time-low of 4.8% reached in November 2007. The next months will show whether the news stories represent a change of the trend or not.