Latvia - 2
Title of the survey
Labour cost survey.
Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Periodicity of the survey
Annual (1998 and 1999, with reference to 1997 and 1998).
Objectives of the survey
To obtain information on average annual and hourly labour cost.
Main labour topics covered by the survey
Employment, hours of work and labour cost, as well as information
on enterprises' practices with regard to social security and
pension schemes, and payroll taxes.
The calendar year, for each variable.
Coverage of the survey
The whole country.
In 1998: manufacturing. In 1999: electricity, gas and water
supply; construction; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods.
In the public and private sector: enterprises with 20 or more
employees, or with net turnover above 200,000 Lats in previous
year and that have operated a whole year, except in manufacture
of grain mill products, bread, fresh pastry goods and cakes:
enterprises with 10 or more employees.
Excluded are working proprietors, members of boards and councils
of enterprises, commission agents, home workers, casual workers,
workers sub-contracted from other companies or firms, workers
from temporary work agencies as well as unpaid contributing family workers.
Women on maternity and family leave up to 3 years and persons on
temporary military service are also excluded.
Data are not collected by occupation.
Concepts and definitions
Data are collected on full-time and part-time employees, and
Full-time employees are employees (excluding apprentices) whose
regular working hours correspond to those provided by the law or
collective agreements, or customary working hours.
Part-time employees are employees (excluding apprentices) whose
regular working hours are less than customary working hours,
whether daily, weekly, or monthly as agreed.
Apprentices are employees whose work is connected with the
acquisition of knowledge (e.g. apprentices, employees training
for a new occupation, students of higher educational
establishments on a vocational practice, stagiaires) under an
The total number of employees excludes apprentices.
This is defined as the total expenditure borne by
employers in order to employ workers. Information is collected
on the following components:
1. Gross wages and salaries in cash and in kind: payments to
contractual workers by employers (before deduction of employees'
personal income and social taxes). They include:
2. Employers' actual and imputed social security contributions:
- direct remuneration: remuneration in the form of regular cash
payments which include: (i) basic wage and salary; (ii) direct
remuneration calculated on the basis of the time worked, output
and piecework and paid to employees for hours worked ; (iii)
remuneration and additional payment for overtime, night work,
working on days off and public holidays, for difficult and
unhealthy work; (iv) bonuses paid regularly; individual
performance bonuses; bonuses for output, productivity,
responsibility, diligence, punctuality, length of service,
qualification of special knowledge.
- bonuses paid at fixed periods: payments to employees that
are not paid on a regular basis (each month, quarter, etc.) and
that are paid irrespective of the results (Christmas or Easter
payments, 13th month payments, payments in the event of the
anniversary of the enterprise, on professional or other holidays
and the like); supplementary vacation bonuses and compensation
for vacation not used.
- payments for days not worked: personal and public holidays,
days paid for but not worked by (blood) donors, study leave, days
off for civic duties (e.g. assessor in the court) and other paid
days off, as well as public holidays (e.g., Christmas holidays).
- wages and salaries in kind:
- wages and salaries in kind ; price of company products
supplied free of charge, or the difference between the cost price
and the price at which the products are sold to staff ;
employers' expenditure on food products and beverages bought for
- expenditure to assist employees with housing, including
expenditure on housing owned by the enterprise (expenditure on
the maintenance and administration of housing, and tax and
insurance relating to such housing). It also includes
non-refundable loans for the purchase of flats by staff;
- employers' expenditure related to the use of company cars
for employees' personal needs.
- Employers' statutory social contributions (from 1 January
1998: social security contributions) (excluding statutory social
security contributions paid for apprentices).
- Contributions to the pension security fund;
- Employers' other social security contributions: contributions
for health and life insurance and other insurances (e.g. for a
private car used for business purposes).
- Employers' imputed social contributions: direct payments made
by employers to their employees without involving social security
funds (e.g. for sick list A, short-time working, and severance
pay), occupational health services and other benefits to present
and former employees.
- Guaranteed remuneration in the event of sickness: payments
for sick list A made by employers according to Article 36 of the
Law on maternity and sick benefits (75% of the employee's
average earnings for the 2nd and 3rd days of sickness, 80% of
average earnings for the 4th to 14th days of sickness), according
to provisions of collective agreements, or according to Article
14 of the Law on compulsory social insurance against
occupational accidents and diseases for the first 14 calendar
days. (It does not include payments for sick lists from the
State Social Security Fund.)
- Guaranteed remuneration in the event of compulsory short-time
working, in accordance with the legislation (salary per hour or
per day) or collective agreements.
- Severance pay: sums paid in accordance with the legislation
to dismissed workers who leave their work involuntarily;
- Welfare services to families: sums paid by employers to
employees in the event of their jubilees, wedding, birth of
child, to cover payments for communal services and other agreed
payments to present and former employees and their families.
- Occupational health services: sums paid employers to
employees to compensate in part or in full for the purchase of
medicine, treatment in health institutions, sanatoriums and
outpatient departments of enterprises, as well as remuneration
paid to employees for the occupational detriment to their health
(not under sick list A).
3. Vocational training costs paid by the employer: for
vocational training and improvement of employee's professional
skills. It comprises gross wages and other remuneration for
apprentices; employers' social security contributions for
apprentices; other costs: wages and other payments to alien
employees undergoing a vocational training; materials, energy,
teaching aids, etc., repairs of training rooms and equipment,
costs of their maintenance, depreciation; and payments to
educational establishments for training of enterprise staff.
4. Other employers' expenditure:
- recruitment costs such as expenditure on advertisements, sums
paid by employers for the services of labour agencies; allowances
paid to newly recruited staff to compensate for their removal
- expenditure related to training subsidies, maintenance and
repairs of cultural, sporting and leisure facilities,
kindergarten and day nurseries, shops, inpatient medical services
and other structural subordinate units of enterprises, and wages
of alien employees;
- transportation costs between home and the usual place of work;
- payments into funds of trade unions and unions of employers;
- cost of work clothes;
5. Subsidies received by employers: sums received from the
state that compensate for the employers' expenditure related to
wages and salaries (financing of wages for the unemployed who are
temporarily employed, from the State budget and the State
Employment Service funds).
Hours of work
Data are collected on total hours actually worked and total hours
paid for, separately for full-time and part-time employees.
Hours actually worked correspond to the total number of hours
worked by all employees (excluding apprentices), including hours
provided by law, collective agreement, labour contract or
customary working hours (i.e. normal hours of work) and overtime
hours, and excluding hours paid for but not worked (e.g. for
paid leave, sick leave, personal and public holidays, short-time
working), meal breaks, commuting time and hours worked for which
employees receive no compensation.
Hours paid for are all hours worked, including paid overtime
hours, plus hours of paid absences for holidays, sick leave,
short-time working, jury duty, etc. They exclude time
corresponding to meal breaks, weekly rest days, time not worked
due to military related service, disciplinary suspension and
The definitions of labour cost and hours actually worked conform
to the international recommendations.
The data on
labour cost are classified by component group (see above, under
Concepts and definitions). This classification is compatible
with the International Standard Classification of Labour Cost
The survey data are classified according to the Standard
Classification of Economic Activities of the European Communities
(NACE) Rev. 1 at the two-digit level. NACE Rev.1 is based on
the International Standard Industrial Classification of all
economic activities (ISIC), Rev.3, 1990.
By size of enterprises: 20-49 employees (in grain mill products,
bread, fresh pastry goods and cakes: 10-49 employees), 50-249,
250-499 and over 499; and by sector (public, private).
Sample size and design
The survey unit is the enterprise.
Survey universe / sample frame
It consists of the Business Register which includes enterprises
on which the Central Statistical Bureau holds appropriate
information obtained from the State Enterprise Register, other
government agencies and through contacts with the enterprises.
The survey is based on a complete enumeration of enterprises.
This takes place in March-April of each year, by mailed
questionnaires which are to be returned to the local departments
or the main office of the CSB by 12 April.
In 1998, the questionnaires were sent to 1269 manufacturing
enterprises, out of which 173 were found to be out of the survey
In 1999, they are being sent to 2,249 enterprises.
The questionnaire seeks information on the characteristics of the
enterprise, the number of employees, the number of hours paid for
and actually worked, the number of working hours lost due to
short-time work and strikes and lock-outs, the number of days
paid for but not worked, compensation of employees, employers'
vocational training costs, other expenditure paid by the
employer, and subsidies received by the employer.
Explanatory notes on definitions are provided with the
Substitution of sampling units
Sampling units are not replaced in the event of total
Data processing and editing
The data are coded and processed by computer, using Fox Pro. The
survey forms are first checked by CSB statisticians. In case of
missing or inconsistent data, contacts are made by mail or
telephone. Consistency and logic checks are also carried out by
Types of estimates
- Number of employees, total labour cost for all employees and
average annual, monthly and hourly labour cost;
- Average hours actually worked and paid for per week;
- Distribution of labour cost by components (structure).
Average annual labour cost per employee is obtained by dividing
the total labour cost by the number of employees in full-time
Part-time employees are converted to full-time units according to
the following formula:
Dn = (Sn / Sp) x Dp + Dp , where
Dn is the number of employees in full-time units,
Sn is the number of hours worked by part-time employees,
Sp is the number of hours worked by full-time employees,
Dp is the number of full-time employees.
Average hourly labour cost is calculated by dividing the average
annual labour cost per employee by the average number of hours
actually worked during the year.
Construction of indices
Weighting of sample results
Use of benchmark data
Indicators of reliability of the estimates
Coverage of the sampling frame
The Business Register provides for complete coverage of
Sampling error / sampling variance
Approximately 1.8% in terms of the number of enterprises
which did not return the questionnaires for unknown reasons.
Conformity with other sources
Average annual data on wages and salaries from the labour cost
survey are divided by 12 and checked against the corresponding
average monthly data from regular surveys.
Estimates for non-survey years
Published results include:
- Average annual labour costs per employee and their structure,
- Average hourly labour cost and,
- Average weekly hours actually worked and paid for, by economic
activity, enterprise size classes and sector;
- Distribution of employees in manufacturing, by industry group,
and category (full- time, part-time, apprentices).
History of the survey
The Labour cost survey started in 1998, with reference to 1997,
and was limited to manufacturing. The 1999 survey (with
reference to 1998) covered electricity, gas and water supply;
construction; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods.
Future modifications will be brought to the survey in terms of
coverage, sample design, statistical unit (establishment instead
of enterprise) and periodicity (as from 2001: four-yearly
instead of annual).
Central Statistical Bureau: Statistical Bulletin Labour cost in
manufacturing, 1997 (Riga); the survey results were available
some twelve months after the survey reference period. This
publication also contains some methodological information.
Unpublished data (e.g. according to the ISCLC-1966) can also be
made available upon request and data can be obtained on diskette.
Confidentiality / Reliability criteria
In compliance with the Law On State Statistics (1997), all data
collected are treated as confidential and used only for
statistical purposes. No data are published where there are only
one or two enterprises in an economic activity or size class.
Data supplied to the ILO for publication
Statistics of average hourly labour cost in manufacturing are
published in the
Yearbook of Labour Statistics.