On Labour Force Survey results in the 1stquarter of 2007

24.05.2007

The Central Statistics bureau has compiled the continuous Labour Force Survey for the 1st quarter of 2007. To provide the information for labour market average and long-term prognosticating model, according to Cabinet of Ministers July 25 2007 meeting decision, from the year 2007 the Labour Force Survey sampling is expanded more than two times. By means of random sampling for the 1st quarter 6 thsd households were selected and 7.7 thsd persons aged 15-74 years were interviewed. Wherewith results on situation in labour market and population economic activity include this age group. In order to generalize the survey data is used calculated number of population at the beginning of 2007.

Economically active population

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

Almost two thirds (64.5%) of the population aged 15-74 years was economically active; this indicator was 70.7% among men and 59% among women. In the 1st quarter of 2007 the number of economically active population increased by 1.5% in comparison with the relevant period of 2006.

Employed population

Considered as employed are all those persons who in the reference week did some work at least for one hour as well as all persons who although holding a job did not work in the reference period for various reasons (vacation, illness, shift work, studies, childcare leave up to 3 months.

The results of the survey show that totally 1083.7 thsd persons (60.1% of the total number of population aged 15-74 years) in the country were employed. Only 3.6% of these did not work for various reasons mentioned above. 4.7 thsd persons (0.4% of the total number of employed) worked on own farm with an aim to produce goods for personal consumption, slightly more - 4.9 thsd people (0,5% of the total number of employed), were selling produced production, but only some worked on own farm with an aim to produce the goods for trade. Compared to the previous year, the number of employed in the 1st quarter of 2007 has increased (1056.5 thsd persons in the first quarter of 2006), as has the share of employed in the total number of population (in the 1st quarter of 2006 this indicator was 58.4%).

Of the total number of employed in the 1st quarter 2007, the percentage of men was slightly higher than that of women, 51% and 49%, respectively.

Of all the employed, every sixth (16.6%) was employed in trade, every seventh (14.4%) was employed in manufacturing; every ninth (11%) worked in construction; every tenth (9.8%) in the transport and communications sector; every eleventh (8.8%) in the agriculture hunting and forestry; every twelfth (8%) was employed in public administration and defence; every thirteenth (7.5%) worked in the area of education; every fifteenth (6.7%) in the field of operating with real estates, rentals, computer services, science and other commercial services; every twentyfirst (4.7%) in the segment of community, social and personal service activities, slightly less (4.5%) were employed in the area of health and social care.

Latvian legislation has fixed the length of the working week at 40 hours. The survey data showed that almost three fifths (60.5%) of the employed worked 40 hours a week as established by legislation, each eight (12.6%) worked less than 40 hours a week (these were mainly women) but each fourth (23.3%) worked longer hours than the official working week (this group consisted primarily by men). This is an indication that many persons try to earn extra income by working longer hours at the basic job.

69.7 thsd persons in the country worked part time. For every fifth (21.5%) 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 (20,7%) was not willing at all to work full time; 19.7% had to work shorter working hours since they could not find a job with full-time working days; every sixth (17.2%) in addition to work was studying and because of this could not take a full-time job.

Under the current economic conditions wages and salaries earned at a 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 first quarter of 2007 63 thsd persons (5.8% 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 the respondents indicated several sources of income during the survey. The compiled results show that for slightly more than a half of the population (55.3%) the most essential sources of income were wages and salaries; for every forth (28.1%) it was the support by relatives, friends or family members; slightly less persons (23.1%) received a pension and one seventh (13.5%) 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.).

12.5% of employees was paid a net wage (after taxes) of up to 109 lats per month; every sixth (17.2%) received a wage within the range of 109.01 –150.00 lats; each fifth of wage earners (18.5%) were paid 150.01-200.00 lats; each fourth (23.3%) – 200.01-300.00; one sixth (15.4%) received wage or salary within the range of 300.01-500.00 lats; every twelfths (8.3%) - 300.01-500.00 lats; 3.7% of the employees were paid 500.01-1000.00 lats but only a small number of wage and salary earners (0.4%) were paid more than 1000 lats. For 2.6% of the employees the salary or wage was not calculated (due to an unpaid leave, pregnancy or maternity leave or because work had started only recently, etc.) or it was calculated but not paid up. Regrettably a part of wage and salary earners (6.4%) refused to disclose the size of their labour remuneration.

The unemployed

Considered as unemployed are persons aged 15-74 years 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,), 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. 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 2007 there were 79.8 thsd unemployed or 6.9% of the economically active population in Latvia (both employed and unemployed). Compared to the previous year, the number of unemployed in the first quarter of 2007 has decreased (89.2 thsd in the 1st quarter of 2006), as has the rate of unemployed to the number of economically active population (7.8% in the first quarter of 2006). In the first quarter of 2007 the share of unemployed in the number of economically active men in the country was higher than that of women (in the share of economically active women), 7.6% and 6.1%, respectively. One third (31.4%) were long-term unemployed.

Three fifths (59.9%) of the unemployed have had a previous work experience. It is noteworthy that according to international methodology if an unemployed person has ceased working more than eight years ago, his or her previous employment is not looked upon as a work experience.

Dismissal from work due to various personal or family considerations mentioned as the main reason for unemployment 26%, moreover, this reason as the main cause was mentioned both by men (21.3%) and women (30%), one fourth (26.7%) of men and every thirteenth (7.9%) woman had been holders of a temporary job according to the employment contract, 11.7% of men and 15.1% of women had quit working due to staff cuts.

In the process of job seeking usually are used several methods. The answers of the respondents show that nine tenths of the unemployed in the 1st quarter of 2007 had applied to their relatives, friends, trade unions, etc.; slightly less of the applicants looked over the job ads in the press or on the Internet; two thirds of unemployed applied straight to the employers; almost a half of unemployed applied to the State Employment Agency; almost a third had placed an ad in the press or answered job offers in the press or Internet.

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 2007 was 640.1 thsd and compared to the previous year their number has decreased by 3.6% (this indicator in the 1st quarter of 2006 was 663.8 thsd). Of these, pensioners in the 1st quarter of 2007 accounted for two fifths (39.3%), pupils and students who in the reference week studied full time and did not work were every third (29.7%), every eleventh (9.5%) considered themselves as housekeepers, every twelfth (8.5%) 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. The results of the survey show that the number of discouraged persons in the 1st quarter of 2007 was 29.5 thsd or 4.6% of the economically inactive population. In comparison to the 1st quarter of 2006, their number has increased by 9.2 thousand.

The main indicators of Labour Force Survey in the Baltic States

Employment rate, in %

Rate of unemployed, in %

2006

2007

2006

2007

1st quarter

4th quarter

1st quarter

1st quarter

4th quarter

1st quarter

Latvia

58,4

60,9

60,1¹

7,8

6,1

6,9¹

Lithuania

56,5

57,1

6,4

4,8

Estonia

60,8

62,2

6,4

5,6

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Data source: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/
¹ - CSP data
Persons aged 15-74
… data on the 1st quarter of 2007 are not available yet

Prepared by the Labour Statistics Section
Tel. 7366886
Zaiga Priede