Unemployment is still above 8% in Latvia and contributes to poverty, in part because many unemployed have been without a job for an extended period of time.
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Within a context of lower resources and higher health needs than in many OECD countries, Latvia’s health system delivers relatively efficient and effective care to the population, however, existing financial and geographical barriers to care are important drivers of unmet health care needs.
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Latvia faces high levels of income inequality and poverty. The tax and redistribution system only partially alleviates inequalities resulting from market incomes. Long-term unemployment and inadequate minimum social protection drive poverty among the working-age population.
Latvia’s economy is growing strongly. Driven by the recovery of exports and investment as well as strong private consumption, real GDP growth is expected to strengthen from 2% in 2016 to around 4% this year and next.
Etude économique de la Lettonie 2017
Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, will be in Riga, on 15 September 2017 to present the 2017 Economic Survey of Latvia, alongside Mr. Arvils Ašeradens, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia.
La mise en œuvre réussie de réformes économiques a stimulé l'activité en Lettonie, ce qui s'est traduit par une forte croissance, une hausse des salaires et des finances publiques solides.
Latvia’s economy has grown robustly in recent years on the back of a strong track record in implementing structural reforms, despite a challenging international environment. Rising wages have supported household consumption. After a severe setback in 2008-09, catch-up with higher income OECD countries may have resumed. Government finances are solid and financial market confidence in Latvia is strong. Private sector indebtedness is now lower than in many OECD economies. Export performance, including diversification of products and destinations, is improving, but Latvia’s participation in global value chains is modest. Latvia’s exports still rely heavily on low value-added, natural resource intensive products, reflecting in part skills shortages and weak innovation. Unemployment remains high, although it has fallen. Many young Latvians emigrate. Informal economic activity is still widespread.
High long-term unemployment, weak social safety nets and high labour taxes for workers on low pay contribute to widespread poverty. Many low-income households are inadequately housed. High out-of-pocket payments limit access of low-income households to health services. Improving access to housing, health care, education and training would improve economic opportunities for low-income households and requires additional government spending.
SPECIAL FEATURES : MOVING UP THE GLOBAL VALUE CHAIN; ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
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Unemployment in Latvia has been on a downward trajectory since it reached a record high of 20.4% at the height of the global financial crisis (Q1 2010). It is now 9.7%, but it remains above the OECD average of 6.2%.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.