Press Release

On labour force survey results in 2006

The Central Statistics bureau has compiled the continuous Labour Force Survey for the 2006. By means of random sampling 10.3 thsd households were selected and 15.1 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 2006.

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 71.1% among men and 58.7% among women. In 2006 the number of economically active population increased by 2.9% in comparison with the 2005.

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 1087.6 thsd persons (60.1% of the total number of population aged 15-74 years) in the country were employed. Only 3.8% of these did not work for various reasons mentioned above. 8.1 thsd persons (0.7% of the total number of employed) worked on own farm with an aim to produce goods for personal consumption. Compared to the previous year, the number of employed in 2006 has increased (1035.9 thsd persons in 2005, as has the share of employed in the total number of population (in 2005 this indicator was 57.1%).

Of the total number of employed in 2006, the percentage of men was slightly higher than that of women, 51.4% and 48.6%, respectively.

Of all the employed, every sixth (15.6%) was employed in trade, the same number was employed in manufacturing; every ninth (10.8%) in the agriculture hunting and forestry; every tenth (9.5%) worked in construction; every eleventh (9.3%) in the transport and communications sector; every twelfth (8.1%) was employed in public administration and defence, compulsory social insurance, the same number worked in the area of education; every eighteenth (5.6%) in the field of operating with real estates, rentals, computer services, science and other commercial services; only 4.7% were employed in the area of health and social care and slightly less (4.5%) in the segment of community, social and personal service activities.

Latvian legislation has fixed the length of the working week at 40 hours. The survey data showed that almost three fifths (57.5%) of the employed worked 40 hours a week as established by legislation, each eight (12.9%) worked less than 40 hours a week (these were mainly women) but each fourth (25.8%) 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.

70.2 thsd persons in the country worked part time. One third (304.3%) had to work shorter working hours since they could not find a job with full-time working days; every fifth (19.8%) 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., each sixth (16.1%) was not willing at all to work full time; one tenth (10.2%) 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 2006 62.6 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 one third (32.3%) it was the support by relatives, friends or family members; a quarter of interviewed persons (23.2%) received a pension and one seventh (14.8%) 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.).

9.8% of employees was paid a net wage (after taxes) of up to 81 lats per month; every eight (12.2%) received a wage within the range of 81.01-100.0 lats; each fourth of wage earners (22.3%) were paid 100.01-150.00 lats; each fifth (20.3%) – 150.01-200.00; each sixth (17.8%) received wage or salary within the range of 200.01-300.00 lats; every twelfths (8.3%) - 300.01-500.00 lats; 2.1% 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 3.1% 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 (3.7%) 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 2006 there were 79.9 thsd unemployed or 6.8% of the economically active population in Latvia (both employed and unemployed). Compared to the previous year, the number of unemployed in 2006 has decreased (99.1 thsd in 2005), as has the rate of unemployed to the number of economically active population (8.7% in 2005). In 2006 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), 7.2% and 6.4%, respectively. Almost two fifths (37.8%) were long-term unemployed.

Slightly more than a half (54.1%) 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 staff cuts was mentioned as the main reason for unemployment (26.1%), moreover, this reason as the main cause was mentioned both by men (29.1%) and women (22.4%). 16.2% of men and 25.5% of women had quit working due to various personal or family considerations. Every seventh of men (14.2%) and one sixth of women (15.6%) had been holders of a temporary job according to the employment contract.

In the process of job seeking usually are used several methods. The answers of the respondents show that four fifths of the unemployed in 2006 had applied to their relatives, friends, trade unions, etc.; the same number of the applicants looked over the job ads in the press or on the Internet; a slightly less of unemployed had placed an ad in the press or answered job offers in the press; three fifths applied straight to the employers; two fifths of unemployed tried to get permits, licences or finances to start business; slightly less of unemployed applied to the State Employment Agency.

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 2006 was 642.1 thsd and compared to the previous year their number has decreased by 5.3% (this indicator in 2005 was 678.2 thsd). Of these, pensioners in 2006 accounted for two fifths (40.2%), pupils and students who in the reference week studied full time and did not work accounted for almost one third (30.1%), one twelfth (8.1%) were persons who had been ill for a long time or disabled, but slightly less (8%) considered themselves as housekeepers.

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 2006 was 25.5 thsd or 4% of the economically inactive population. In comparison to 2005, their number has decreased by 5.8 thousand.

The main indicators of labour force survey in the Baltic States

Employment rate, (aged 15-64),
in %

Rate of unemployed (aged 15-74),
in %




















Annual data
Data source:
¹ - CSP data
² -
³ -

Prepared by the Labour Statistics Section
Tel. 7366886
Zaiga Priede

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