Latvia's gender pay gap narrows

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Provisional estimates published June 17 by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that in 2021 the average hourly gross earnings of females were 14.6 % lower than those of males. 

Compared to the year before, the unadjusted gender pay gap shrank by 7.7 percentage points.

"In the 1st quarter of 2021, compared to the 1st quarter of 2020, restrictions to the business activity and state support measures imposed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 pandemic had greater effect on employment and earnings of females. The number of female employees earning less dropped sharper than that of male employees, and the number of women among employees earning more grew faster than number of men. Government support in the form of idle time benefits covered the greatest number of employed persons in the 1st quarter of 2021, compared to other periods of COVID-19 restrictions, wage subsidies were paid thus having notable influence on the gender pay gap. In some sectors of national economy, e.g., health care, increase was observed in both workload and remuneration," said the CSB.

The gap in earnings of males and females is affected by various social and economic factors – the number of males and females in a specific economic activity, their occupation and work duties, educational attainment, age, service increment, number of hours worked, etc. The indicator is calculated without excluding the effect of these factors, which might explain the reasons for the gap.

In 2021 the largest gender pay gap was observed in information and communication sector where hourly earnings of males were on average 31.1 % higher than those of females.

In 2020, the EU average unadjusted gender pay gap constituted 13.0 %. The largest gap was recorded in Latvia (22.3 %) and Estonia (21.1 %).

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