With the global recession hitting Latvia the hardest of any European country, there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country.

The population has shrunk by 1.6% (one of the few to do so in Europe) as those who can leave the country to find work emigrate.

For those left behind the situation is bleak due to the lack of opportunities. 36% of the population are judged to be at risk of falling into extreme poverty. 10% of the population are unemployed.

There is also a high incidence of in work poverty This occurs when worker’s wages are too small to take them above the poverty line. It is linked to low skilled jobs and means that holding down a job is not always enough to escape poverty