In Q3 2016, the average monthly gross wages and salaries in the country amounted to EUR 847. Compared to Q3 2015, average wages and salaries have grown by EUR 18 or 2.2 %, indicating a lower annual increase than in the 2nd quarter of the present year (3.3 %).
Average monthly gross wages and salaries in the private sector accounted for EUR 828 and for EUR 885 in the public sector, while the average wages and salaries in the general government sector that includes state and local government institutions, State Social Insurance Agency and enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local governments amounted to 840 euros. Over the year, wages and salaries in the private sector grew at a faster pace than those in the public sector – 2.3 % and 1.9 %, respectively, according to the latest information from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
In Q3 2016, the average net wages and salaries in the country comprised EUR 622, having grown by 1.7 % in comparison to Q3 the previous year. As the consumer prices increased by 0.2 %, real net wages and salaries grew by 1.5 %.
In Q3 2016, the largest average wages and salaries were recorded in the sector of financial and insurance activities, information and communication, and energy. In turn, the lowest average wages and salaries were observed in the sector of accommodation and food service activities and other service activities, as well as in the education sector.
Compared to Q3 2015, average monthly gross wages and salaries grew in all sectors except for professional, scientific and technical activities (a drop of 2.2 %), real estate activities (a drop of 1.7 %), transportation and storage (a drop of 1.5 %) and other service activities (a drop of 1.2 %) in Q3 2016. The sector of other service activities includes the activities of public, political and other membership organisations, repair of personal and household goods, as well as washing and dry-cleaning services, hairdressing and other beauty treatment, funeral and related activities and other service activities. There was also a slight drop in the average wages and salaries in the energy sector (of 0.1 %).
The drop in the average wages and salaries in the sectors of professional, scientific and technical activities, transportation and storage, and energy were affected by a reduction in the volume of irregular bonuses and premiums, as well as an increase in the number of employees, which was more rapid than the increase in the wage and salary fund. The other mentioned sectors witnessed a drop in regular wages and salaries, as well as irregular bonuses, while the number of employees grew.
Of all the sectors that witnessed an increase in wages and salaries over the year, the greatest growth was recorded in the sectors of accommodation and food service activities (of 5.5 %), financial and insurance activities (of 5.0 %), and in agriculture (of 4.7 %).
Compared to Q3 2015, in Q3 2016 wages and salaries have grown in all Baltic states, however, Latvia indicated the lowest increase. Over the year, the average gross wages and salaries in Estonia and Lithuania grew by 7.1 % and 7.9 %, respectively. The highest gross wages and salaries in Q3 2016 were recorded in Estonia (1,119 euros), while the lowest – in Lithuania (793 euros). Latvian employees receive the lowest wages and salaries after the payment of taxes – in Q3 the present year the average monthly net wages and salaries accounted for 73 % of the calculated gross wages and salaries. This respective ratio was 78 % in Lithuania and 81 % in Estonia.
Just as in Latvia, minimum wages have also increased in both neighbour states over the year. In Estonia the minimum wage increased from EUR 390 to EUR 430 starting with 1 January of the present year (an increase of 10.3 %), whereas in Lithuania it reached EUR 380 on 1 July of the present year (an increase of 26.7 % in comparison to the minimum wage of EUR 300 present on 1 January 2015). The minimum wage in Latvia increased from EUR 360 to EUR 370 on 1 January of the present year (by 2.8 %).