Latvia is a small Baltic state with a population of just under 2 million people, located in the north-eastern part of Europe. It borders Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the south-east, and Lithuania to the south. The standard of living in Latvia today is significantly lower than in most EU countries, but despite this many foreigners are looking for work in local companies or start their own Latvian business.

Latvia has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and joined the euro zone in 2015. A large number of Russian-speaking citizens live here (about 35-40% of the population), which makes the process of labor migration more comfortable. The country has affordable prices for real estate, food and basic services. The most favorable working conditions and most opportunities provide work in Riga. Let's find out what professions are in demand in Latvia in 2020.


Labour market in Latvia

Over the last 10 years the Latvian economy has been growing at an average of 3.5% per year. Unemployment in the country remains at the level of 6-7%, and inflation is about 3%. At the same time, there are certain unfavorable demographic trends associated with the outflow of skilled labor to more developed EU countries. This negatively affects the number and productivity of working-age population, puts pressure on the labor market and slows down the growth of living standards in the future.

For official employment in Latvia, applicants from third countries must meet the following requirements — find a job in advance, sign an employment contract, obtain a work permit, open a work visa and apply for a Latvian residence permit. Usually, the document is issued for up to one year, with the right to extend it up to 5 years, after which it is possible to issue a permanent residence permit, and in the future citizenship.

The income of Latvian workers is one of the lowest in Europe. According to the official data of the local government, in 2020 the minimum wage in Latvia is 430 euros per month, which corresponds to the level of 2019. According to the Latvian Central Bureau of Statistics, the average salary is 1,100 euros per month before taxes. After all deductions, 812 euros per month remains. The highest income is provided by financial and insurance activities (2,253 EUR) and IT (1,829 EUR).

The most demanded professions in Latvia

The most demanded professions in Latvia are international drivers (truck drivers), financiers, business analysts, engineers, builders and programmers. Doctors, social workers, specialists in the field of wood products and pharmaceuticals are less often required.

Applicants from the post-Soviet space are often employed in unskilled labor. They work as nannies, nurses, housekeepers, security guards, movers, waiters, sellers, assistant cooks, and so on. In addition, many people prefer seasonal employment in Latvia in agriculture for harvest.


1 Business Analysts
2 Accountants
3 International drivers (truck drivers)
4 Doctors
5 Engineers
6 Programmers
7 Farmers
8 Social workers
9 Builders
10 Financiers

Note. Information is based on data from Latvian and international recruitment agencies.

In conclusion, we note that the income tax rate in Latvia varies from 20% to 31.4%. In the well-known Doing Business rating for business attractiveness, the country takes 19th place.

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