On labour force survey results in the 1st quarter of 2008

22.05.2008

The CSB has compiled the Labour Force Survey results on the 1st quarter of 2008. By means of random sampling for the 1st quarter 6 thsd households were selected and 7.8 thsd persons aged 15 to 74 years were interviewed, wherewith results on situation in labour market and population economic activity include this age group.

Economically active population

The economically active population or labour force consists of employed persons and persons who are actively seeking a job.

Two thirds (67.8 %) of the population aged 15-74 years was economically active; this indicator was 73.9% among men and 62.3% among women. In comparison with the relevant period of 2007, in the 1st quarter of 2008 the number of economically active population increased by 4.6 %.

Employed population

Considered as employed are all those persons who in the reference week did some work at least for one hour for salary or wage, or did worked with the aim to earn money, or to produce goods for personal consumption. The number of employed includes also all persons who, although holding a job, in the reference period did not work because of various reasons (vacation, illness, childcare leave, shift work, studies).

The results of the survey show that totally 1137.8 thsd persons (63.3% of the total number of population aged 15-74 years) in the country were employed. Only 4% of these did not work for various reasons mentioned above. Compared to the corresponding period of previous year, the number of employed in the 1st quarter of 2008 has increased (1084.4 thsd persons in the first quarter of 2007), as has the share of employed in the total number of population (in the 1st quarter of 2007 this indicator was 60.1%).

In the 1st quarter of 2008 the share of men in the total number of employed was slightly higher than that of women, 51.1 % and 48.9 %, respectively.

Share of employed by kind of economic activity in the main job

A Agriculture, hunting and forestry
B Fishery
C Mining and quarrying
D Manufacturing
E Electricity, gas and water supply
F Construction
G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods
H Hotels and restaurants
I Transport, storage and communication
J Financial intermediation
K Real estate, renting and business activities
L Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
M Education
N Health and social work
O Other community, social and personal service activities
P Activities of households

The survey data showed that three fifths (61.1%) of the employed worked 40 hours a week as established by legislation, each fifth (18.9%) worked less than 40 hours a week (these were mainly women) but each sixth (15.4%) worked longer hours than the official working week (this group consisted primarily by men). This shows that many persons try to earn extra income by working longer hours in the main job.

68.2 thsd persons in the country worked part time. Slightly more than one fourth (27.3%) had to work shorter working hours since they could not find a job with full-time working days; for one fifth (20.4%) the length of the working day was influenced by various personal of family conditions (the need to look after children, taking care of an adult, etc.); slightly less (18.4%) in addition to work were studying and because of this could not take a full-time job; but one sixth (15.8%) was not willing to work full time at all.

Under the current economic conditions wages and salaries earned at one place of work are not sufficient so people try to find a possibility to earn an extra income. The results of the survey show that, in the 1st quarter of 2008 59.2 thsd persons (5.2% of the total number of the employed) held a secondary job. This number is probably higher as not every respondent wants to reveal the source and field their additional income has come from.

The livelihood of the population usually comes from various sources of income, and because of this during the survey respondents indicated several sources of income. The compiled results show that for almost three fifths of the population (58.2%) the most essential sources of income were wages and salaries; for every fourth (27.2%) it was the support by relatives, friends or family members; every fifth (21.8%) received a pension and one seventh (15.4%) received some kind of a social assistance benefit paid by the State Social Insurance Agency (benefit in case of unemployment, maternity, illness or funeral etc.).

Employees by monthly net (after taxes) wages and salaries in main job, %

The unemployed

Persons aged 15-74, who in the reference week did not work and were not temporarily absent from work (vacation, illness, childcare leave of up to 3 months, etc,), and who during the last four weeks were actively seeking a job, and in case of finding it were prepared to start working within the next two weeks are considered as unemployed. Besides, these persons could be either registered or not registered with the State Employment Agency.

The results of the survey show that in the 1st quarter of 2008 there were 79.7 thsd unemployed or 6.5% of the economically active population in Latvia (both employed and unemployed). Compared to the corresponding period of previous year, the number of unemployed in the first quarter of 2008 has decreased (79.8 thsd in the 1st quarter of 2007), as has the share of unemployed in the total number of economically active population (6.9% in the first quarter of 2007). In the 1st quarter of 2008 the share of unemployed males in the number of economically active men in the country was higher than that of females (in the share of economically active women), constituting 6.8% and 6.3%, respectively. Slightly more than one fourth (27.3%) of the unemployed were long-term unemployed.

Almost three fourths (74.4%) of the unemployed have had a previous work experience.

Slightly more than one fourth (28.7%) of unemployed mentioned dismissal from work due to various personal or family considerations as the main reason for unemployment, moreover, this reason as the main cause was mentioned by 32.8% of women and 24.9% of men. As second main reason for the dismissal from the work was mentioned stuff cuts (27.5% of total number of unemployed) – it was mentioned by one fourth of women (25.2%) and 29.6% of men. The third biggest group (14.7%) is formed by the people who had been holders of a temporary job according to the employment contract (14% of unemployed men and 15.5% of women).

Methods used by the unemployed in the process of job seeking, per cent*

* - One unemployed may have used several methods of job seeking.

1 Asked friends, relatives, trade unions, etc.
2 Studied advertisements in newspapers, journals or Internet
3 Applied to employers directly
4 Contacted State Employment Agency to find work
5 Awaiting the results of an application for a job
6 Waiting for a call from the State Employment Agency
7 Inserted or answered advertisements in newspapers or journals
8 Inserted own advertisements on Internet and answered the advertisements on Internet
9 Took a test, interview or examination
10 Contacted private employment agency to find work
11 Awaiting the results of a competition for recruitment to the public sector
12 Other methods

Economically inactive population

Apart from the employed and unemployed there is a part of the population who are not regarded as labour force and consequently they are economically inactive. The number of such persons in the 1st quarter of 2008 was 578.8 thsd, and compared to the corresponding period of previous year their number has decreased by 9.5 % (this indicator in the 1st quarter of 2007 was 639.5 thsd).

Particular attention in this group should be paid to persons who are potential unemployed but have been discouraged or do not know where and how to find a job. The results of the survey show that the number of discouraged persons in the 1st quarter of 2008 was 13.8 thsd or 2.4 % of the economically inactive population. In comparison with the 1st quarter of 2007, their number has decreased by 15.7 thousand.

Of these, pensioners in the 1st quarter of 2008 accounted for slightly more than two fifths (41%), pupils and students who in the reference week studied full time and did not work were every third (30.5%), every tenth (9.7%) considered themselves as housekeepers, every eleventh (8.9%) were persons who had been ill for a long time or disabled.

The main indicators of Labour Force Survey in the Baltic States

Employment rate, %

Unemployment rate, %

2007

2008

2007

2008

1st quarter

4th quarter

1st quarter

1st quarter

4th quarter

1st quarter

Latvia

60,1

63,7

63,3¹

6,9

5,3

6,5¹

Lithuania

57,4

57,9

5,0

4,2

Estonia

62,1

62,8

5,3

4,1

4,2²

Data source: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/
¹ - CSP data
2http://www/stat.ee/
Persons aged 15-74
… data on the 1st quarter of 2008 are not available yet

Prepared by the Labour Statistics Section
Tel. 67366886
Zaiga Priede