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Deteriorating labour market conditions in Lithuania ‐ unemployment reached 8% in December 2008 ‐ resulted in an increase of recorded emigration from the country in the second half of 2008, reversing a four‐year trend of shrinking negative net migration.
According to Eurostat, in 2008 Lithuania had the highest net negative migration in the EU, and in 2009, net negative migration from Lithuania was three times the 2007 level. National Department of Statistics figures only reflect emigrants who leave the country for
a period longer than six months and report their departure. 17 000 Lithuanian citizens reported emigration in 2008, 3 100 more than the previous year. The 2009 Labour Force Survey found that about a third of the total outflow from Lithuania was undeclared, less than
previous years. Total estimated emigration for 2008 was around 24 000. In 2009, undeclared emigration was estimated to have risen again, contributing to an estimated 71 500 total departures, against 56 000 arrivals.