One in three employed persons in Latvia is in Rīga

Results of the Population and Housing Census 2021 published June 15 by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that at the beginning of 2021 there were 877.1 thousand employed persons in Latvia or 55.2 % of the total population that has reached working age.

Out of all employed persons, 296.9 thousand (33.9 %) lived in Riga, 181 thousand (20.6 %) in Pierīga, 106.5 thousand (12.1 %) in Latgale, 104.7 thousand (11.9 %) in Kurzeme, 103.4 thousand (11.8 %) in Zemgale, and 84.5 thousand (9.6 %) in Vidzeme.

The highest employment rate among population aged 15 and over was recorded in Pierīga – 58.8 %, especially Mārupe, Ādaži, and Ķekava municipalities where 65.7 %, 64.4 %, and 64.1 % of the population aged 15 and over were employed, respectively. The high numbers may be related to the larger share of working-age population in the total population of the municipalities. The lowest employment rate was registered in Latgale – 48.8 % (in Ludza municipality those were only 46.6 %).

In terms of regional breakdown, employment rate in Riga constituted 57.1 %, in Vidzeme 54.5 %, in Zemgale 54.3 %, and in Kurzeme 52.7 %. Compared to 2011, employment rate has risen in all regions. The lowest rise was observed in Riga – of only 5.8 percentage points (from 51.3 % to 57.1 %), whereas the highest in Vidzeme – of 11.1 percentage points (from 43.4 % to 54.5 %). Employment rate in Latgale gas gone up by 8.6 percentage points (from 40.2 % to 48.8 %).

Map - Employed population aged 15 and over at the beginning of 2021

Employment gone up despite population decline

Previous Population and Housing Census was conducted during the economic crisis (in 2011), and regardless the fact that since then population has declined by 8.7 % the number of employed persons (those aged 15 and over) has increased by 43.6 thousand people or 8.3 percentage points (from 46.9 % to 55.2 %). The second largest population share is formed by pensioners (22.9 %), followed by students (5.2 %).

Growing share of employed persons having higher education

In 2021 the highest employment rate among persons aged 25–64 was registered among those having acquired doctorate (92.7 %), followed by those having master's degree (85.2 %), bachelor's degree (82.7 %), and college education (85.1 %). The share of employed elderly population (people at retirement age, i.e., aged 64 and over) accounted for one fifth (20.4 %). Similar trend was observed also in this age group – higher employment rate among those having higher education; moreover 50 % of doctorate holders continued working, followed by 54 % of those having college education, 28.9 % having master’s degree, and 42.3 % of those having bachelor's degree.

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