On Labour Force Survey results in 1st quarter of 2012


CSB has compiled Labour Force Survey results on labour status of population1 (aged 15-74) and situation in the labour market in 1st quarter of 2012.

Active population

The active population or labour force consists of employed persons and persons who are actively seeking a job.
Compared to the corresponding period a year before, the number of active population in 1st quarter of 2012 has increased by 0.9%. Almost two thirds (65.1%) of the population in this age group were active; this indicator comprised 69.4% among men and 61.3% among women.

Employed population

Totally 857.6 thousand persons (54.5% of the total number of population aged 15-74) were employed in the country. Only 5.2% of them did not work due to various reasons (vocation, illness, childcare leave, etc.). Both the number of employed population and share of employed in the total population during the reference quarter has increased, if compared to the corresponding period of previous year (in 1st quarter of 2011 835.9 thousand persons and 52.4%), whereas, in comparison with the previous quarter, it has diminished (in 4th quarter of 2011 the number comprised 876.7 thousand persons and 55.0%). According to methodology of the Labour Force Survey the number employed population includes 6.4 thousand persons, which still having the status of unemployed during the reference week were employed (participated in complex support activities organised by the State Employment Agency, took part in active employment project “Activities for certain groups of persons”, as well as participated in programme “Paid temporary community work”).
Women in the total number of employed constituted slightly higher share than men - 51.2% and 48.8%, respectively.
The livelihood of the population usually comes from various sources of income, and because of this respondents during the survey indicated several sources of income. For slightly less than a half (48.8%) of the population in the corresponding age group the main source of income was wages and salaries.

Employees by monthly net (after taxes) wages and salaries in the main job, per cent


1st quarter 2011

4th quarter 2011

1st quarter 2012





Up to LVL 200.00





of which:

employees receiving minimum monthly wages and salaries

or less2




LVL 200.01 – 300.00




LVL 300.01 – 500.00




LVL 500.01 – 1000.00




LVL 1000.01 and more




Was not calculated or paid




Not specified




Persons who in the reference week did not work and were not temporarily absent from work (vacation, illness, etc,), and who during the last four weeks were actively seeking a job, and in case of finding it were able to start working within the next two weeks are considered as unemployed. Of which both unemployed registered with the State Employment Agency and persons seeking a job with other opportunities.
Results of the survey show that in the 1st quarter of 2012 there were 166.7 thousand unemployed or 16.3% of the economically active population in Latvia (both employed and unemployed). The number of unemployed and their share in active population during this time period has reduced, if compared to 1st quarter of previous year, when there were 178.9 thousand unemployed and their share comprised 17.6%. While in comparison with the 4th quarter of 2011 the numbers have grown - 155 thousand unemployed and 15.0%, respectively. The share of unemployed men in the total number of active men in the country was higher than that of women (in the share of active women, correspondingly), constituting 17.6% and 15.0%, respectively. Registered unemployment rate in the country in the 1st quarter of 2012 comprised 11.7%, according to the data calculated on the basis of the State Employment Agency information.
Slightly more than a half (86.5 thousand or 51.9%) of the unemployed was comprised by long-term unemployed. Compared to the corresponding period a year before, their number has reduced by 16.3 thousand. In current economic situation the number of unemployed having previous work experience is still high. In the 1st quarter of 2012 there were 146.2 thousand unemployed having previous work experience or 87.7% of the total number of unemployed, but a year before this indicators comprised 159.1 thousand persons and 88.9%, respectively.
Inactive population

Apart from employed and unemployed persons there is a part of population not regarded as labour force – those are inactive persons (pensioners, pupils, students, housekeepers, disabled, long-term disabled etc.). In the 1st quarter of 2012 there were 549.8 thousand inactive persons, and, if compared to the corresponding period of previous year, their number has diminished by 5.3%.
Pensioners comprised almost half (46.2%) of the inactive population in the 1st quarter of 2012, pupils and students, who in the reference week studied full time and did not work, were every fourth (26.2%), every eleventh (9.3%) considered themselves as housekeepers, and slightly less (8.9%) were persons who had been ill for a long time or disabled.
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. Results of the survey show that during the reference quarter in the country there were 35.4 thousand persons who have been discouraged to find a job (6.4% of the total number of inactive population). Compared to the 1st quarter of 2011, the number of persons, who have been discouraged, has decreased by 10 thousand.
More information on Labour Force Survey results and methodology is available in the data base of CSB webpage.
Employment rate and unemployment rate, per cent

Prepared by the Employment Statistics Section
Zaiga Priede
Tel. 67366886


1 6.7 thousand persons aged 15-74 were surveyed. Extrapolation of the survey data is based on the number of population at the beginning of 2012, calculated according to the Population and Housing Census data.
2 Net wages and salaries are calculated basing on minimum gross wages and salaries. In 2011 and 2012 minimum monthly wages and salaries comprised LVL 200.