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Nicolas de Chamfort
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Average wages in Latvia up EUR 75 in 2018

Photo: pixabay.com
Compared to Q3 2017, the average monthly gross wages and salaries grew by 8.0 % or EUR 75, reaching EUR 1,006 for full-time work in Q3 2018. Compared to Q2 2018, gross wages and salaries have increased by 0.2 % or EUR 2.

Over the year, wages and salaries in public sector grew faster than in private – by 8.5 %, compared to 7.7 %, respectively. The average gross wages and salaries constituted EUR 992 in private sector and EUR 1,036 in public sector, while in general government sector, which includes central and local government institutions, as well as enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local government, the average wages and salaries rose to EUR 993 or by 8.8 %, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

In Q3 2018, the average net wages and salaries (calculated based on the labour taxes applicable at workplace) constituted EUR 744. Compared to the previous quarter, net wages and salaries fell by 22 euro cents. Over the year, net wages and salaries increased by 9.5 %, showing 1.5 percentage points higher rise than wages and salaries before taxes.

Considering annual consumer price growth of 2.9 %, the real increase in net wages and salaries comprised 6.4 %.

Changes in the average wages and salaries are influenced not only by the rise of employee remuneration, but also structural changes on the labour market – enterprises that had started and stopped their business during the year, changes in the number of employees and workloads in various economic sectors, as well as state administrative measures in the fight against the shadow economy. The effects caused by the mentioned factors in general may be seen in the changes in the wage and salary fund and number of full-time employees, which are used in the average wage calculations.

Compared to Q3 2017, gross wage and salary fund have increased by 9.6 % or EUR 203.4 million in Q3 2018, whereas the number of salaried workers, recalculated into full-time units, grew by 1.5 % or 11.4 thousand.

In Q3 the year, the sharpest rise in earnings was recorded in human health and social work activities (of 15.9 %, with faster growth in human health activities), accommodation and food service activities (11.6 %, with the sharper rise in catering), other service activities (10.7 %, with sharper rise in washing and (dry-)cleaning; hairdressing and other beauty treatment; funeral and related activities; and other personal service activities), as well as mining and quarrying (10.6 %).

In Q3 2018, the highest wages and salaries for full-time work were registered in financial and insurance activities, information and communication, energy, public administration and defence, mining and quarrying, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities. In other sectors, the average wages and salaries before taxes were below the national average.

The lowest wages and salaries, in turn, were observed in accommodation and food service activities, education, other service activities (that includes activities of public and other organisations, repair of computers and personal and household goods, washing and (dry-)cleaning, hairdressing and other beauty treatment, funeral and related activities), real estate activities, as well as arts, entertainment and recreation.

Compared to Q3 2017, regional breakdown shows the sharpest rise in the average monthly gross wages and salaries in Kurzeme (of 11.0 %), Pierīga (9.7 %), and Latgale region (9.2 %) in Q3 2018. The annual rise in Riga, having the highest wages and salaries (EUR 1 124), was the smallest – 7.1 %. The lowest average gross wages and salaries for full-time work still were observed in Latgale region – EUR 708, constituting 70 % of the national average.


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