Press Release

Slower increase in earnings recorded at the beginning of the year

Data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that at the beginning of 2019 earnings in the country were growing slower than a year before. In the 1st quarter of 2019, compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, the average monthly gross wages and salaries grew by 7.8 % or EUR 75, reaching EUR 1 036 for full-time work. The annual increase rate recorded in the 1st quarter of 2018 constituted 8.7 %, while in other quarters of the year 8.1–8.4 %.

Compared to the 4th quarter of 2018, in the 1st quarter of 2019 gross wages and salaries dropped by 0.6 %.

It should be noted that minimum wage did not change this year, and, compared to the neighbouring countries Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia had the lowest minimum wage – EUR 430. In 2019, minimum wage in Lithuania grew by EUR 155 or 38.8 % (from EUR 400 to EUR 555), while in Estonia by EUR 40 or 8.0 % (from EUR 500 to EUR 540).

Net wages and salaries constituted EUR 768

In the 1st quarter of 2019, the average net wages and salaries (calculated based on the labour taxes applicable at workplace) constituted EUR 768. Over the year, net earnings rose by 7.6 %, while compared to the 4th quarter of 2018 they fell by 0.1 %.

Considering annual consumer price growth of 2.9 %, the real increase in net wages and salaries comprised 4.6 %.

Changes in consumer prices and average wages and salaries
(as per cent, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year)

Graph - Changes in consumer prices and average wages and salaries

 

Median wages and salaries comprised EUR 799

In the 1st quarter of 2019, median gross wages and salaries amounted to EUR 799, and, compared to the 1st quarter of 2018 (when gross earnings constituted EUR 745), they grew slower than the mean arithmetic wages and salaries (rise of 7.2 %). Net median wages (after taxes) constituted EUR 592 and rose by 7.1 % over the year.

Median is calculated based on the information available in statistical surveys and administrative data of the State Revenue Service.

Median is an average indicator located in the middle of employee earnings sorted in an ascending or descending order. As median, compared to the mean arithmetic earnings, is not influenced by extremely high or low wages and salaries, it reflects typical earnings more precisely.

Graph - Median

Sharper rise in earnings recorded in public sector

Over the year, wages and salaries in private sector grew faster than in public sector – by 8.4 % and 6.8 %, respectively. In the 1st quarter of 2019, monthly average gross earnings in private sector exceeded the indicator registered in public sector by EUR 3 (EUR 1 038 and EUR 1 035, respectively). Average wages and salaries in general government sector, which includes central and local government institutions, as well as enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local government, grew to EUR 985 or by 6.7 %.

Changes in average monthly wages and salaries by sector
(euros)

 

Q1 2018

Q4 2018

Q1 2019

Changes in Q1 2019,

as % compared to

Q1 2018

Q4 2018

Total

961

1042

1036

7.8

-0.6

private sector

958

1020

1038

8.4

1.8

public sector

969

1089

1035

6.8

-5.0

general government sector

923

1040

985

6.7

-5.3

 

Increase exceeding 10 % registered in five economic activities

In the 1st quarter of 2019, the sharpest rise in earnings was recorded in administrative and support service activities (higher increase in rental and leasing activities, travel agency, tour operator reservation service and related activities, and employment activities) (of 13.0 %), human health and social work activities (higher rise in human health activities) (12.3 %), construction (11.6 %), water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (higher upturn in water collection, treatment and supply) (11.5 %), and real estate activities (11.2 %).

Changes in the average earnings are influenced not only by the rise of employee remuneration, but also structural changes on the labour market – enterprises that had started and stopped their business during the year, changes in the number of employees and workloads in various economic sectors, as well as state administrative measures in the fight against the shadow economy. The effects caused by the mentioned factors in general may be seen in the changes in the wage and salary fund and number of full-time employees, which are used in the average wage calculations.

In the 1st quarter of 2019, compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, gross wage and salary fund increased by 9.1 % or EUR 193.0 million, while the number of salaried workers, recalculated into full-time units, grew by 1.2 % or 9.2 thousand. 

Highest earnings in financial and insurance activities and lowest in accommodation and food service activities

In the 1st quarter of 2019, the highest average wages and salaries for full-time work were registered in financial and insurance activities, information and communication, energy, public administration, professional, scientific and technical activities, as well as mining and quarrying. In other sectors, the average wages and salaries before taxes were below the national average.

The lowest wages and salaries, in turn, were observed in accommodation and food service activities, education, other service activities (that includes activities of public and other organisations, repair of computers and personal and household goods, washing and (dry-)cleaning, hairdressing and other beauty treatment, funeral and related activities), as well as arts, entertainment and recreation.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries in Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 and changes thereof

Graph - Average monthly gross wages and salaries in Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 and changes thereof

 

Lowest earnings still recorded in Latgale

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, in the 1st quarter of 2019 regional breakdown shows the sharpest rise in the average monthly gross wages and salaries in Kurzeme region (of 9.5 %), followed by Zemgale (9.0 %), and Pierīga (8.4 %). The annual rise in Riga, having the highest wages and salaries (EUR 1 165), was the smallest – 7.2 %. The lowest average gross wages and salaries for full-time work still were observed in Latgale region – EUR 716, constituting 69 % of the national average.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries in Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 by region

Graph - Average monthly gross wages and salaries in Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 by region

Information on the average wages and salaries is broken down by region based on the office address of an enterprise or institution.

 

Methodological explanations

Data on the beginning of the year are revised each quarter in line with the routine data revisions defined in the CSB Revision Policy guidelines, as new economically active enterprises and institutions are added to the population of the statistical units surveyed, kinds and sectors of economic activities of enterprises are specified, additional or specified information from respondents or updated data from administrative data sources are received.

The data source used for wage and salary statistics is the sample survey of individual merchants, commercial companies, state and local government institutions, foundations, associations and funds, as well as administrative data sources.

The CSB calculations of average wages in public sector include central and local government institutions and their commercial companies, companies with central or local government capital participation of 50 % and over, excluding foundations, associations, funds, and their commercial companies.

According to the European System of Accounts, the general government sector includes central and local government institutions, social security fund, enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local governments.

The changes in the average monthly wages and salaries are calculated as not-rounded values, i.e., taking into account the value in euro cents.

When calculating the average monthly wages and salaries, the number of salaried employees is re-calculated into full-time units, thus eliminating the differences in salaries paid for different workloads ensuring comparability of indicators

 

Media requests:
Communication Section
E-mail:
media@csb.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67366989, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Lija Luste
Wage Statistics Section
E-mail:
Lija.Luste@csb.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67366917

 

Release date
Share this press release:

Statistical themes related to this press release