CSB - Central Statistical Bureau

04/17/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/17/2024 04:05

Proportion of employed with tertiary education is growing17.04.2024

An administrative data-based Central Statistical Bureau estimate shows that 42.7 % of the 806 thousand people employed on the national labour market (people aged 25 and over) had higher education at the beginning of 2023. The figure has grown by 0.7 percentage points over the year and by 1.5 percentage points over the two years.

One in four employed (24.5 %) had acquired master's degree1, 13.9 % bachelor's degree, 3.6 % short-cycle tertiary (college) education, and 0.7 % doctorate. Upper secondary education was completed by 37.1 % of the employed persons, post-secondary non-tertiary education by 13.5 %, lower secondary education (second stage of primary education) by 6.4 %, and first stage of primary education by 0.3 %.

Larger share of technicians and associate professionals having tertiary education

In 2023, almost a half (45.1 %) of the employed persons aged 25 and over were managers, professionals, or technicians and associate professionals. More than a fifth (21.4 %) were skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers, craft and related trades workers, or plant and machine operators and assemblers, and one fifth (20.0 %) were clerical support workers or service and sales workers. Elementary occupations engaged just 12.7 % of the number.

Among technicians and associate professionals, the share of employed persons having higher (tertiary) education has gone up by 1.1 percentage points (58.9 % in 2022 and 60.0 % in 2023) while among managers (70.6 % in 2022 and 70.0 % in 2023) as well as professionals (87.0 % in 2022 and 86.4 % in 2023) gone down by 0.6 percentage points. The proportion of people with higher education in the group of clerical support workers almost has not changed (41.8 % in 2022 and 41.9 % in 2023), whereas that among skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers has risen by 1.5 percentage points (2.6 % in 2022 and 4.1 % in 2023). More employed persons having higher education (up by 0.3 percentage points) were also registered among armed forces occupations (39.5 % in 2022 and 39.8 % in 2023) as well as among plant and machine operators and assemblers (8.9 % and 9.2 %).

As regards employed persons engaged in elementary occupations, the share of people having lower secondary education or lower educational attainment has reduced by 0.4 percentage points (16.3 % in 2022 and 15.9 % in 2023) and the share of people having higher education has risen (10.6 % and 11.3 %).

People having tertiary education tend to leave labour market later

At the beginning of 2023, the highest employment rate (91.9 %) within the population aged 25-64 was among people having doctorate, followed by those with short-cycle tertiary education (85.6 %), master's degree (84.5 %), and bachelor's degree (82.7 %). The lowest employment rate within this age group (9.2 %) was registered for people with no formal education or with less than primary education.

There are many reasons behind low educational attainment - health problems or disabilities, personal or family circumstances, etc. Employment rate of people who had completed first stage of primary education was 36.7 %, of people with second stage of primary education (lower secondary education) 52.3 %, of people with upper secondary education 66.4 %, and of people with post-secondary non-tertiary education 72.0 %.

Employment of people who have reached national retirement age (64 years and 3 months in 2022) has similar trends, i.e., employment rate among those having tertiary education is higher, namely, 48.5 % of people with doctorate and 46.9 % of people with college education stay on the labour market, followed by 38.6 % of people with bachelor's degree and 29.2 % of people with master's degree.

As people reach retirement age, the lowest employment rate is registered among those with no formal education or with less than primary education (2.3 %), followed by people with first stage of primary education (3.7 %), second stage of primary education (lower secondary education) (9.0 %), upper secondary education (18.8 %), and post-secondary non-tertiary education (22.0 %).

Refer to the OSP database: EKA130, IZT010

Methodological information

1 Level of education successfully completed based on the International Standard Classification of Education ISCED-2011. Compliance of current classification of Latvian education system with ISCED-2011 is stipulated by the Cabinet Regulation No 322 Regulations on the Classification of Latvian Education of 13 June 2017.

Media requests:
Communication Section
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Phone: +371 27880666

More information on data:
Sigita Meldere
Social Statistics Methodology Section
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +371 67366751