Impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on the employment of older people in Latvia, the Baltic States and Europe

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The objective of the study was to examine changes in the employment of older people brought about by the first wave coronavirus pandemic in Latvia in comparison with other European countries. The study is based on the SHARE Wave 8 COVID-19 Survey conducted in June-August 2020 in 26 European countries and Israel via computer-assisted telephone interviews. Questions examined how people aged 50 years and older coped with socioeconomic and health-related impact of COVID-19. The methods of descriptive statistics were applied in order to compare the influence of the first coronavirus wave on employment in older age groups in Latvia and across Europe. In Latvia, 6% of employed or self-employed aged 50+ experienced unemployment, laid off or business closed during the first wave of COVID-19, which is one of the lowest rates among all participating countries. The strongest impact was suffered by older workers in France (39%), Greece (36%) and Cyprus (35%). 75% of Latvians continued to work at their usual work place. Meanwhile 10% of participants in Latvia started to work from home; and 9% combined working from home and at the usual work place. Most of the employed experienced neither a reduced nor increased number of working hours. Participation of older age groups in labour market is comparatively high in Latvia and other Baltic States and the COVID-19 (at least, its first wave) had relatively mild impact on it. The branches with traditionally high share of workers aged 50+ (education, healthcare, agriculture, administrative services) were least affected by lockdown measures. Although the prevalence of remote work from home in Latvia was lower than the European average, this issue requires more regulation as the existing legislation lacks provisions on remote work and does not therefore ensure protection of workers' rights and health.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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