How does labor shortage affect our members?

May 31, 2019

Recognizing that labor shortage challenges are severely affecting the business and investment climate in Latvia, AmCham conducted a survey about Latvia's labor market and attraction of talent. The goal of the survey was to collect our members' opinion on labor market challenges and their experience in attracting and retaining talent. 

As the result of the survey two priority areas were highlighted: 

1) Promoting Latvia as an international career destination and 

2) Developing skills to reduce labor market mismatch

The survey reveals how company executives perceive current employment issues, what they are doing to attract and retain talent and what should be done to promote Latvia as a career destination.


  • Online anonymous survey sent to 120 members
  • 46 or 38% responses collected
  • All member companies & organizations except individuals addressed
  • Only CEOs/Executives or HR Directors targeted (1 answer per company)
  • Conducted for 2 months, February 11-April 10

Key findings:

  • Although the majority of respondents say there is a clear shortage of high-skilled positions (53%), many think there is shortage of both skilled and unskilled labor (42%).
  • 84% of respondents admit having encountered difficulties in filling vacant positions in the past 12 months.
  • Difficulties to fill vacancies are affected by factors such as low response rate to the position, lack of qualification, wage expectations and lack of specific skills and available talent pool.
  • 77% of respondents think Latvia is a favorable career destination for international talent. 
  • International talent is perceived as a valuable resource by 87% respondents.
  • Latvia's ability to attract & retain high-skilled international talent was ranked as mediocre with score 5 on a scale 1 to 10.
  • Among enhancing factors for Latvia's ability to attract & retain high-skilled international employees are the availability of public information in English, quality of life, safety and security as well as favorable tax regime. 
  • The lack of pro-active state-driven policies of attracting talent, red tape, insufficient state support, and lack of incentives for foreign students were mentioned among obstacles hindering the attraction of international talent.
  • Proposed solutions by members for filling vacancies include: Developing and retraining existing workforce; Attracting Latvian return migrants; Minimizing red tape for relocation to Latvia; Communicating clearly about economic and social gains of working in Latvia; Recruiting international talent; Developing automation, AI and digital solutions to reduce the number of open vacancies.

The main findings together with specific hands-on recommendations will be communicated to various stakeholders, including policy-makers and media during a launch event in the next weeks. The aim of the recommendations will be to address the attraction and retention of talent, which would enable strengthening Latvia's productivity and competitiveness.

To view the executive summary of labor survey 
To view full results of labor survey 

We are grateful to our member ERDA for helping conduct this survey.

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