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Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris

CSB: average wages grow rapidly in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn Q1 2017 the average gross wages and salaries in the country constituted 886 euros. Compared to Q1 2016, the average wages and salaries increased by 59 euros or 7.2 %, showing a faster growth than in 2016 (5.0 %).

In Q1 2017, the average net wages and salaries constituted 648 euros, which is 6.4 % more than in Q1 2016. In general, the average net wages and salaries rose slower than the earnings before taxes, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

As of 1 January 2017, the minimum untaxed minimum applied on the workplace was reduced from 75 euros to 60 euros, and minimum national wage rose from 370 euros to 380 euros or by 2.7 %.

The sharp increase in consumer prices registered in Q1 2017(of 3.2 %, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year) had downward effect on the purchasing power of the employed population – real wages and salaries grew only by 3.1 %.

Compared to Q1 2016, in Q1 this year wage and salary rise in public sector was slightly higher than in other sectors (7.3 %), increase in private sector constituted 7.2 % and that in general government sector 7.5 %.

In Q1 2017, the average gross wages and salaries amounted to 881 euros in the private sector and to 897 euros in public sector, whereas in general government sector, which includes central and local government institutions, State Social Insurance Agency, as well as enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local government, the average gross wages and salaries amounted to 847 euros.

Compared to Q1 2016, the gross wage and salary fund increased by 8.1 % or 146.1 million euros, whereas the number of salaried workers in the country rose only by 0.9 % or 6.4 thousand (recalculated into full-time units) in Q1 2017.

Compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, in Q1 2017 the increase in wages and salaries was recorded in all sectors, except for real estate activities (drop of 1.4 %).

The sharpest wage and salary rise was observed in education (10.3 %), mining and quarrying (9.7 %), trade (9.2 %, with the most notable growth in wholesale and trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles), information and communication (8.6 %), agriculture, forestry and fishing (7.7 %, with the most significant increase in forestry and logging).

Increase in average wages and salaries in education, mining and quarrying as well as trade was due to the growth in wage and salary fund and decline in the number of full-time employees; in information and communication as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing sector the growth was recorded in both number of employees and wage and salary fund; in real estate activities, in tis turn, the number of full-time employees rose faster than wage and salary fund.

In Q1 2017, the highest wages and salaries were registered in financial and insurance activities, information and communication and energy sectors. Wages and salaries exceeding the national average indicator were also recorded in public administration, mining and quarrying, professional, scientific and technical activities (that include legal and accounting activities, advertising and market research, architectural and engineering activities, management consultancy activities, scientific research and development, etc.), as well as transportation and storage. The lowest wages and salaries, in turn, were observed in accommodation and food service activities, 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), education, real estate activities, arts, entertainment and recreation.

Compared to Q1 2016, in Q1 2017 regional breakdown shows that rise in the average monthly gross wages and salaries in Vidzeme, Zemgale and Pierīga region – of 8.4 %, 8.0 % and 7.4 %, respectively, was faster than that recorded in the country as a whole. Smaller increase was observed in Kurzeme and Latvgale region – of 6.4 % and 6.7 %, respectively. The annual increase in Riga, where the highest wages and salaries were recorded in Q1 this year (1001 euros), constituted 7.1 %. The lowest average gross wages and salaries still were registered in Latgale region – 609 euros.

The data on the Baltic states show that in Q1 2017 the highest average gross wages and salaries were observed in Estonia (1153 euros), followed by Latvia (886 euros) and Lithuania (818 euros).  Compared to Q1 the last year, wages and salaries have grown in all three Baltic countries. The sharpest rise was recorded in Lithuania (9.3 %), followed by Latvia (7.2 %) and Estonia (5.7 %). At the beginning of the year, only Lithuanian net wage and salary increase exceeded the rise of gross earnings, reaching 79 % of the wages and salaries before taxes. In Q1 2017, Estonian average net wages and salaries constituted 81 % of the gross earnings, whereas Latvia has the lowest indicator – 73 %.

It should be noted that over the year also minimum wage has increased in all three countries: in Estonia from 430 euros in Q1 2016 to 470 euros in Q1 this year or by 9,3 %, in Lithuania from 350 euros to 380 euros (8.6 %), and in Latvia from 370 euros to 380 euros (2.7 %).


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