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Survey: 28% of Latvian residents expect a salary increase in the coming year

Опрос: 28% жителей Латвии ожидают повышения зарплаты в ближайший год

Over the next year, 28% of Latvian residents expect their salaries to increase. In Lithuania this figure is 32%, and in Estonia – 23%. These are the data of a survey conducted by Citadele Bank. Those who are waiting for a salary increase most often name the range of 1-5%. 12% of Latvians, 16% of Lithuanians and 13% of Estonians think so. At the same time, 9% of residents of Latvia, 10% of Lithuania and 6% of Estonia expect a salary increase of 6-10%. It is in Latvia that there is a large proportion of respondents who hope that their salaries will increase by more than 10%. This is the opinion of 7% of respondents in Latvia, 6% in Lithuania and only 4% in Estonia. A salary increase of at least 10% is expected for Latvians who have not yet reached the age of 40, live in Riga and its environs, work in the service and trade sectors, or hold management positions. At the same time, there are twice as many men as women who expect such a promotion. "Latvians in general are very cautious about the possible growth of their salaries. The average salary in Latvia has grown by about 10% per year over the past two years. It has increased in almost all areas of the national economy, especially in the public sector. Of course, due to inflation it has decreased purchasing power and wages still do not fully cover price increases, so income growth is not so noticeable,” comments Citadele banka economist Mārtiņš Abolins. According to him, perhaps inflation is the reason why Estonians are so cautious in their forecasts, since of all the Baltic countries, it was our northern neighbors that experienced the sharpest rise in prices and decline in purchasing power. “In my opinion, it is positive that only a small part of the population expects that wages may decrease. It is to be hoped that lower inflation will contribute to increased optimism,” says the expert. About a third of residents of all Baltic countries believe that their salaries will remain the same in the next 12 months. This is the opinion of 33% of respondents in Latvia, 30% in Lithuania and 34% in Estonia. According to the survey, 6% of respondents in Latvia and Lithuania and 8% in Estonia expect their salaries to decrease. This is the most common answer among those whose monthly salary is between 551 and 750 euros. As reported, from January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Latvia has been increased from 620 to 700 euros, or by 12.9%. The average gross salary in Latvia before taxes for a full-time job in the first quarter of this year was 1,623 euros, which is 11% or 162 euros more than in the corresponding period in 2023, data from the Central Statistical Office shows. In the private sector, the average gross salary in the first quarter of 2024 increased by 8.9% to 1,614 euros, and in the public sector by 16.3% to 1,657 euros. Wages per hour worked before taxes rose over the year to 10.65 euros, an increase of 16%. The average net salary (after taxes) in the first quarter of this year was 1,180 euros, or 72.7% of gross salary, which is 10.2% more than a year earlier. Over the year, average wages grew the fastest in the field of education – by 20.4%, in public administration and defense – by 15.8%, in the field of tourist accommodation, accommodation and catering and other services (including the activities of public, political and other organizations , repair of personal and household items, dry cleaning, hairdressing, cosmetic, funeral and other services) – by 13.8%, as well as in the field of transport and storage – by 12%. In the first quarter of 2024, the average monthly salary for full-time work was higher than the national average in financial and insurance activities – 2,956 euros, in the field of information and communication services – 2,675 euros, in energy – 2,118 euros, in professional, scientific and technical services – 2,092 euros, in public administration – 1,883 euros, in health and social work – 1,680 euros, in the mining and quarrying industry – 1,666 euros. The lowest average full-time salary was in the tourist accommodation and catering sector at €1,071 before tax. In the first quarter of 2024, compared to the first quarter of 2023, the average wage before taxes grew fastest in Latgale – by 12.5%, then in Vidzeme – by 11.6% and Zemgale – by 11.2%. The highest average gross salary for a full-time job was in Riga – 1,804 euros, and the lowest in Latgale – 1,151 euros, which is 36% less than in the capital. The difference in average salary between Riga and the regions decreased slightly over the year in all regions except Kurzeme. The gap narrowed the most in Latgale – by one percentage point.

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