Wages and salaries and labour costs

For work, people receive pay, or wages and salaries, which is agreed compensation for fulfilling work tasks. In addition to the sum that the employer pays to the employee, the employer pays labour taxes on that sum, which together with the wages constitute labour costs.

Wages are an important source of income, and their main purpose is to cover expenses on dwelling, food, transportation and other basic needs. This is why the law regulates the minimum an employee could be paid for full-time work. The minimum wage is set to protect the well-being of employees.

The statistics on wages and salaries and labour costs provide the following information:

  • what are the average monthly and hourly gross wages in different economic activities;
  • how much the wages differ in counties;
  • whether jobs with higher pay are in the private or public sector;
  • what are hourly wages of employees by occupation, economic activity, level of education, age group, length of employment or type of contract;
  • what are the components of employers’ costs on employees and what is the share of each of these in the total costs;
  • how many vacant posts there are in Estonia, and how many people have changed jobs;
  • how many labour strikes have taken place in Estonia, how long these lasted, and how many people participated;
  • how wide is the gender pay gap in different economic activities.

Statistics on wages and salaries are used to measure labour productivity, observe trends, assess changes in the labour market and make decisions on the national economy.

1 433 euros
Average monthly gross wages 1 407 euros
Average hourly gross wages 8.7 euros
Average monthly labour cost per employee 1 815 euros
17.1 %
Number of occupied posts 600 086
Number of job vacancies 8 088

Sharp increase in the number of people leaving work on employer’s initiative

According to Statistics Estonia, in the second quarter of 2020, there were 8,088 vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the number decreased by 28%. In the second quarter, 39,540 persons were hired and 50,184 persons left work. Every fourth person left on the employer’s initiative.
Read more 8. September 2020

Growth in wages and salaries stalled across Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2020, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,433 euros, which is 1% higher than last year. While in county comparison, both increase and decrease in wages could be observed, the year-on-year growth has not been as modest in ten years.
Read more 27. August 2020

Gender pay gap is slowly narrowing

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the gross hourly earnings of female employees were 17.1% lower than the gross hourly earnings of male employees. The gender pay gap decreased by 0.9 percentage points year on year.
Read more 22. July 2020