Latvia faces wage inflation

  • 2008-10-01
  • TBT Staff and wire reports
RIGA - Wages are still spiraling out of control in Latvia, according to a study by the international consultancy Hay Group. The study found that wages grew an average of 16.7 percent from July 2007 to July 2008. Most companies still plan to increase wages further.
Hay Group representative Liga Rode said that personnel specialists were the biggest winners in terms of salary increase. "It can be explained with the situation in the labor market, businesses needed to attract and hold employees," Rode told the Baltic News Service.

According to the study, the highest earning employees were sales managers, financial workers, accountants and logistics experts. The lowest paid workers were scientists, security workers and quality management sectors. Rode said salaries for skilled workers in health care engineering and security were lower than expected.

"At present higher wages are paid to professionals with immediate impact on business results," Rode told BNS. Rode said the trend was damaging to Latvia's development in the future. The survey showed that there were some profession where wages had stagnated. 
Marketing, IT and telecommunications employees as well as specialists in legal and financial services did not receive significant increases in wages from July 2007 to July 2008.
Previously these had been very popular and rapidly grossing section of the economy according to surveys by the Hay Group. "It does not mean that wages will not grow in these sectors, but the growth will not be as rapid as before," said Rode.

The study shows employers plans to increase wages in 2008 and 2009.
"As many as 97 percent of respondents plan to increase wages by about 12 percent next year," said Rode, adding that this means only 3 percent of companies do not plan to increase wages.
In Rode's opinion, increase of wages, despite the deterioration of the economic situation in the country, is possible because most companies carry out interior optimization measures, which include downsizing.  The Hay Group surveyed public and private sector companies and international companies. The study covers wages of workers, servants, specialists and managers in 12 industries, including financial services, consumer goods, retail, IT and telecommunications, pharmacies, food production and other sectors.

The Hay Group is a global management solutions organization with more than 60 years' experience in public and private sectors, operating in 100 countries on five continents.