In the 2nd quarter, the average monthly gross wages and salaries rose almost six per cent year over year

news release no 93

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2015, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,082 euros. Compared to the 1st quarter, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 7.1%, and compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 5.8%.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014, without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter of 2015. Irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 2.9% per employee and influenced the growth of average monthly gross wages and salaries by 0.1 percentage points.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased faster than the average monthly gross wages and salaries (by 5.9%) in the 2nd quarter of 2015 compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014 due to the continued decrease in consumer prices. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages increased for the sixteenth quarter in succession.

The average monthly wages and salaries increased in almost all economic activities in the 2nd quarter of 2015. The largest increase occurred in activities with lower wages and salaries than the average monthly gross wages and salaries compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014 – 11.2% in the real estate activity and 9.8% in the agriculture, forestry and fishing activity; the only activity with a decrease was construction (0.5% decrease).

The average gross wages and salaries were 1,054 euros in April, 1,058 euros in May and 1,135 euros in June.

The average monthly net wages and salaries were 871 euros in the 2nd quarter of 2015; compared to the same period of the previous year, they increased faster (growth 7.3%) than the average monthly gross wages and salaries. This is due to the decline in the income tax rate from 21% to 20%, the decline in the unemployment insurance tax rate from 1% to 0.8% and also due to the increase of minimum wages from 355 euros to 390 euros starting from 1 January 2015.

The average hourly gross wages and salaries were 6.61 euros and they increased by 6.4% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014. The largest increase occurred in arts, entertainment and recreation (by 10.7%) and the average hourly gross wages decreased in two economic activities – in other service activities (0.9%) and in the professional, scientific and technical activity (0.1%).

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, the number of employees was 1.3% smaller in the 2nd quarter of 2015 than in the 2nd quarter of 2014. The number of employees increased in six economic activities: 1) financial and insurance activity; 2) information and communication; 3) arts, entertainment and recreation; 4) manufacturing; 5) human health and social work activity; 6) accommodation and food service activity.

In the 2nd quarter of 2015, the average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,459 euros and the hourly labour costs were 9.87 euros, which has increased respectively 5.8% and 6.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014. The largest increase in monthly labour costs occurred in the real estate activity and in hourly labour costs in the agriculture, forestry and fishing activity (respectively 11.5% and 11.1%).

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and their change compared to the same quarter of the previous year, 1st quarter 2013 – 2nd quarter 2015
Year Quarter Average gross wages
and salaries, euros
Change compared to the same
quarter of the previous year, %
2015 I 1 010 4,5
II 1 082 5,8
2014 I 966 7,3
II 1 023 4,8
III 977 5,0
IV 1 039 5,3
2013 I 900 6,3
II 976 8,5
III 930 8,8
IV 986 7,6

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries and their change by economic activity

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. In 2015, the sample includes 12,074 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full time units to enable a comparison of different wages and salaries, irrespective of the length of working time. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.). In short-term statistics, the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

For further information:

Birgit Hänilane
Leading Statistician
Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9327

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.