Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, average wages and salaries increased by 74 euros or 8.7 %.
Average gross wages and salaries amounted to 915 euros in the private sector and to 954 euros in public sector, whereas in general government sector, which includes central and local government institutions, as well as enterprises controlled and financed by the central and local government, the average gross wages and salaries amounted to 901 euros.
The highest wages were registered in financial and insurance activities, information and communication and energy sectors.
Compared to the previous quarter, in the 2nd quarter of 2016 the increase in the gross wages and salaries comprised 4.8 % (42.7 euros).
Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, in the 2nd quarter of 2017 gross wages and salaries fund rose by 9.1 % or 173.2 million euros, whereas the number of salaried workers grew only by 0.3 % or 2,500, suggesting labor supply may be weakening.
However, Latvian workers still see a large slice of their wages disappearing in the form of tax. In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the average net wages and salaries constituted 676 euros, which was 7.8 % more than in the 2nd quarter of 2016. In general, the average net wages and salaries rose slower than earnings before taxes.
As of 1 January 2017, the minimum untaxed minimum applied on the workplace was reduced from 75 euros to 60 euros, and the minimum national wage rose from 370 euros to 380 euros or by just 2.7 %.
The increase in consumer prices registered in the 2nd quarter of 2017 (of 3.1 %, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year) had a downward effect on the purchasing power of the employed population – real wages and salaries grew only by 4.6 %.
As usual there was also considerable regional variation in wages in the 2nd quarter. Riga has the highest wages and salaries on average (1038 euros) while Latgale region has the lowest (643 euros), with Vidzeme (740 euros), Kurzeme (774 euros) and Zemgale (784 euros) in between.