Lithuania - Working conditions

There was nominally full employment in Soviet-occupied Lithuania except that there was some hidden unemployment and some forced "employment" characteristic of totalitarian regimes.

The Lithuanian constitution gives workers the right to establish and join unions, although there are limitations on the ability of security and law-enforcement personnel to strike. About 10 percent of businesses are unionized, and about 15 percent of workers belong to unions. Children may work at age 14 with parental consent or at age 16 with or without consent. The nation's minimum wage is US$107.50 per month. However, most workers earn more than the minimum wage, and wages vary considerably. Workers in the financial services sector earn an average monthly wage of US$517, while construction workers earn an average of US$242 per month and retail workers US$181. The standard work week is 40 hours, and there is overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40. National laws mandate a minimum 28 days of vacation per year.

By 2000, unemployment reached 13 percent and is still growing. In 1999, the Lithuanian workforce numbered 1.8 million. About 18 percent of the workforce has a college degree, while an additional 44 percent have some specialized or technical degrees.

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