Analytics, Good for Business, Labour-market, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 19.02.2019, 15:19

Average wage of EUR 1,440, inflow of foreign workforce would stabilize Latvian labor market - experts

BC, Riga, 11.07.2018.Print version
Stabilizing the current tight situation in the Latvian labor market would require raising the average monthly wage to EUR 1,440 and importing workforce from foreign countries, experts said today in a discussion on the labor market organized by Citadele Bank, informs LETA.

Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens (Unity) said that the tension currently prevailing in the labor market could be eased by mobilizing the existing workforce, for instance, by stepping up efforts aimed at encouraging emigrants to return to Latvia. Businesses, meanwhile, should invite people to move from Latvia's regions to regional centers.

Aseradens believes that migration problems in Latvia would decrease if the average reaches EUR 1,440, which is already the case in Estonia where higher wages have already helped ease the migration issue.

Santa Purgaile, a member of the Citadele Bank's management board, said that raising the average wage was not the only solution to the workforce issue and urged a complex approach to the problem. "Businesses have to take care of their employees, give them the sense of long-term stability," said Purgaile.

The economics minister indicated that the government has taken a political decision not to open up the labor market to the so-called cheap workforce but that Latvian companies can hire highly skilled foreign professionals.

Maris Peilans, the head of Marko KEA timber company and Igate road construction firm, agreed with Aseradens that an average wage of EUR 1,440 would be a good and attainable goal but argued that politicians should reconsider their decision on the import of low-skilled labor.

Aseradens said that Latvia's current government would not return to the workforce issue but agreed that sooner or later the issue of labor shortage would have to be tackled.

Reinis Znotins, the founder of information website, said that around 600 Latvians in foreign countries are currently actively looking for jobs in Latvia.

"The local labor market has been exhausted, so we need to focus on those who have left Latvia. Our estimates show that we can bring back around 20 percent of the emigrants," Znotins said.

According to the Central Statistical Bureau's data, in March 2018 the average gross monthly wage in Latvia was EUR 985 and the average net wage was EUR 733.


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