Press Release

On Labour Force Survey results in the 4th quarter of 2007

The CSB has compiled the Labour Force Survey results on the 4th quarter of 2007. By means of random sampling for the 4th quarter 6 thsd households were selected and 8.1 thsd persons aged 15 to 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 indicators on the population at the beginning of 2007 is used.

Economically active population

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

Two thirds (67.3 %) of the population aged 15-74 years was economically active; this indicator was 73.6% among men and 61.6% among women. In comparison with the relevant period of 2006, in the 4th quarter of 2007 the number of economically active population increased by 3.4%.

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 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 1148.8 thsd persons (63.7% of the total population aged 15-74 years) in the country were employed. Only 2.5% of these did not work for various reasons mentioned above. Compared to the previous year, the number of employed in the 4th quarter of 2007 has increased (1101.3 thsd persons in the fourth quarter of 2006), as has the share of employed in the total population (in the 4th quarter of 2006 this indicator was 60.9%).

In the 4th quarter of 2007 the percentage of men in the total number of employed was slightly higher than that of women - 51.3 % and 48.7 %, respectively.

Share of employed in the main job by kind of activity

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

Latvian legislation has fixed the length of the working week at 40 hours. The survey data showed that almost two thirds (64.6%) of the employed worked 40 hours a week as established by legislation, each seventh (14.4%) worked less than 40 hours a week (these were mainly women) but each sixth (17.8%) 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.

70.5 thsd persons in the country worked part time. For slightly more than one fourth (27.5%) 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.; one sixth (17.2%) in addition to work was studying and because of this could not take a full-time job; every fifth (20.6%) had to work shorter working hours since they could not find a job with full-time working days; but one seventh (13.6%) was not willing at all to work full time.

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 fourth quarter of 2007 65.7 thsd persons (5.7% 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 almost three fifths of the population (58.6%) the most essential sources of income were wages and salaries; for every fourth (26.1%) it was the support by relatives, friends or family members; every fifth (21.8%) received a pension and one seventh (14.1%) 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)
wage or salary in the main job, in per cent

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 4th quarter of 2007 there were 64.3 thsd unemployed or 5.3% of the economically active population in Latvia (both employed and unemployed). Compared to the previous year, the number of unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2007 has decreased (71.8 thsd in the 4th quarter of 2006), as has the rate of unemployed to the number of economically active population (6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2006). In the fourth 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), constituting 5.4% and 5.2%, respectively. One fourth (26.2%) were long-term unemployed.

Four fifths (80.8%) 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.

Slightly more than two fifths (41.8%) 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 43.1% of women and 40.7% of men. As second main reason for the dismissal from the work was mentioned stuff cuts (30.9% of total unemployed) – it was mentioned by one third of women (33.2%) and 29% of men. The third biggest group (8.4%) is formed by the people who had been holders of a temporary job according to the employment contract (7.7% of unemployed men and 9.3% of women).

Activities of unemployed in the process of job seeking, in per cent*

1 Applied to the employers individually
2 Had applied to their relatives, friends, trade unisons etc.
3 Looked over the job ads in the press or Internet
4 Inserted own ads in press
and answered the ads in press
5 Inserted own ads on Internet and answered the ads on Internet

6 Participated in testing, interviews, or took exams
7 Waited for the answer after application for a job
8 Waited for contest results on the job vacancies in the State and local government institutions
9 Applied to the State Employment Agency
10 Waited the answer from the State Employment Agency
11 Applied to the private employment establishments

* - One unemployed may have tried several methods of job seekin

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 4th quarter of 2007 was 590.6 thsd, and compared to the previous year this number has decreased by 7.2% (this indicator in the 4th quarter of 2006 was 636.4 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 4th quarter of 2007 was 12.6 thsd or 2.1 % of the economically inactive population. In comparison to the 4th quarter of 2006, their number has decreased by 18.3 thousand.

Of these, pensioners in the 4th quarter of 2007 accounted for two fifths (42.5%), pupils and students who in the reference week studied full time and did not work were every third (30.5%), every twelfth (8.3%) were persons who had been ill for a long time or disabled; every fourteenth (7.3%) considered themselves as housekeepers.

The main indicators of Labour Force Survey in the Baltic States

Employment rate, in %

Unemployment rate, in %





4th quarter

1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter

4th quarter

1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter






























Data source:
¹ - CSP data
Persons aged 15-74

… data on the 4th quarter of 2007 are not available yet

Prepared by the Labour Statistics Section
Tel. 67366886
Zaiga Priede

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