Wage growth slowed in 2016

Fears that rapidly rising wages might blow up another economic bubble in Latvia were popped February 27 when new data showed that wage growth is slowing.

According to the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) in 2016 the average monthly gross wages and salaries in the country amounted to 859 euros.

Compared to 2015 when annual increase constituted 6.8%, in 2016 there was a smaller rise in the average wages and salaries – 41 euros or 5.0%.

In 2016, average net wages and salaries amounted to 631 euros or 73.5% of the gross wages and salaries; over the year the net wages and salaries grew slower than the gross wages and salaries – by 4.7%.

"The increase in the minimum wage from 360 euros to 370 euros or by 2.8 % as of 1 January 2016 did not have significant influence on the average wages and salaries," said the CSB.

In 2016, as consumer prices went up by 0.1 %, the real net wages and salaries rose by 4.6 %.

In 2016, the average gross wages and salaries amounted to 845 euros in the private sector and to 886 euros in public sector.

The most notable annual rise was observed in the private sector – 5.8%, increase in the public sector constituted 3.7% and in general government sector 5.0 %.

Compared to 2015, in 2016 the gross wage and salary fund increased by 5.8 % or 418.5 million euros, whereas the number of salaried workers in the country rose only by 0.7 % or 5.3 thousand (recalculated into full-time units).

In 2016, the smallest wage and salary rise was recorded in professional, scientific and technical activities as well as in transportation and storage.

In 2016, the highest wages and salaries were observed in financial and insurance activities, information and communication, energy sector, public administration and defence; compulsory social security, as well as mining and quarrying.

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