However, PMLP data say people from more exotic countries such as India, the Philippines and China have also received work permits.
By 2014 a total 5,502 work permits had been issued to foreign nationals. The figure grew to 6,165 in 2015 and 7,590 in 2016. By January 1, 2017 a total 8,625 permits were active with 3,875 issued to non-EU nationals.
The number of issued work permits has grown by 56% within four years.
However only 15% of foreigners working in Latvia are doing highly-skilled work. Most guest workers are employed in railway, transit, construction and other industries.
According to a survey by the Latvian Employers Confederation conducted last fall, 70% of employers have significant trouble finding employees. Often or somewhat often they specifically lack highly-skilled employees.
Meanwhile 85% have trouble finding 'good' employees.
Latvia only allows hiring guest workers after the job has been offered to Latvian residents for at least a month.
Some entrepreneurs want the government to loosen requirements for hiring guest workers due to industry-specific labor shortages, however their proposals have been halted by the National Alliance party.
Currently, if a company hires a foreigner they have to pay them least the average monthly wage, which was €916 before taxes late last year in the private sector.