In 2020, the average monthly gross wage in Latvia for full-time work was EUR 1 143. Compared to 2019, the average monthly salary increased by EUR 66 or 6.2 %, but the salary for one hour worked before taxes - by 6.6 %, from EUR 7.47 to 7.97.
According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) of Latvia, average net wages and salaries comprised EUR 841 or 73.6 % of the gross salary. It increased by 6.1 % during the year.
The real increase in net wages and salaries, taking into account the rise in consumer prices, was 5.9 %.
The median gross wage in 2020 was EUR 893. Compared to 2019 (EUR 832), it grew slightly faster than the arithmetic average salary - an increase of 7.3 %. In 2020, net median wages after taxes (net) constituted EUR 664 and rose by 5.9 % over the year.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, compared to last year, the number of employees in Latvia, recalculated as full-time, decreased by a total of 29.3 thousand, or 3.9 %. It was affected by redundancies, reductions in workloads and a decrease in the number of full-time employees due to downtime benefits. The decrease was observed in all sectors, except for information and communication services, real estate and health and social care, where there was an increase in number of employees.
The wage and salary fund in the country as a whole increased by EUR 200.8 million or 2.0 %, but its decrease was observed in transport and storage, accommodation and food service activities, administrative and support service activities, arts, entertainment and recreation, and other services.
In 2020, in seven sectors, the average monthly wage for full-time work was higher than the national average - in the financial and insurance sector, information and communication services, energy, public administration, professional, scientific and technical services, mining and quarrying, as well as in the health and social care sector.
Of these sectors, average wages and salaries increased faster during the year in professional, scientific and technical services - by 11.1 % and in mining and quarrying - by 9.7 %, where the wage and salary fund increased but the number of full-time employees decreased, as well as in the health and social care sector - by 9.6 %, where the wage and salary fund has grown significantly faster than the number of employees.
The lowest average wages and salaries in 2020 were in the accommodation and food service sector (EUR 726), where they fell by 5.3 % over the period of one year due to the COVID pandemic - in education (EUR 913), arts, entertainment and leisure (EUR 931) and other services (including activities of public, political and other organizations, repair of personal and household goods, dry-cleaning, hairdressing, beauty care, funeral and other services); (EUR 935).
During the year, the average salary also slightly decreased in the transport and storage sector - from EUR 1 071 to 1 068 or by 0.3 %.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the average monthly gross wage in the country was EUR 1 188, and it increased by 6.7 % during the year.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, the average wage grew faster in the private sector - by 7.0 %, in the public sector - by 5.8 %, but in the general government sector - by 7.1 %.
Compared to the third quarter of 2020, gross wages and salaries in Latvia increased by 2.5 %. Faster growth was in the public sector - 5.4 %, in the private sector - 1.1 %. In the general government sector, average wages and salaries increased by 6.1 %.
Net wages and salaries in the fourth quarter were EUR 871, and compared to the same period of 2019, they increased by 6.4 %. Compared to the third quarter of 2020, the increase was 2.2 %.
Gross wages and salaries per hour worked in 2020 were EUR 7.97 and over the year it increased by 6.6 % (in 2019 - EUR 7.47).
Total hourly labor costs, which include both wages and salaries and other labor-related costs of the employer, increased from EUR 9.47 to 10.06 or by 6.2 % during the year.
The increase in hourly wages and labor costs in 2020 was mainly due to a 4.2 % decline in hours worked over the year, while total labor costs increased by only 1.7 %.