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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.

1,515 euros
2.9%
IV QUARTER 2020
Average monthly gross wages and salaries 1,448 euros
2.9%
2020
Average hourly gross wages 8.7 euros
3.0%
IV QUARTER 2020
Average monthly labour cost per employee 2,032 euros
2.9%
IV QUARTER 2020
17.1 %
2019
Number of occupied posts 595,339
0.9%
IV QUARTER 2020
Number of job vacancies 8,707
-16.1%
IV QUARTER 2020
Average monthly gross wages | 4th quarter 2016 – 4th quarter 2020
Unit: euros
4th quarter 2016 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2020 2nd quarter 2020 3rd quarter 2020 4th quarter 2020
Total - all NACE activities 1,182 1,153 1,242 1,201 1,271 1,242 1,321 1,291 1,384 1,341 1,419 1,397 1,472 1,404 1,433 1,441 1,515

Average hourly gross wages | 4th quarter 2016 – 4th quarter 2020
Unit: euros
4th quarter 2016 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2020 2nd quarter 2020 3rd quarter 2020 4th quarter 2020
Total - all NACE activities 7.1 7.1 7.5 7.2 7.7 7.4 7.5 7.5 7.9 7.9 8.2 8.0 8.4 8.4 8.7 8.3 8.7

Average monthly labour cost per employee | 4th quarter 2016 – 4th quarter 2020
4th quarter 2016 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2020 2nd quarter 2020 3rd quarter 2020 4th quarter 2020
Total - all NACE activities 1,597 1,556 1,673 1,618 1,716 1,667 1,771 1,733 1,855 1,798 1,900 1,870 1,974 1,876 1,815 1,933 2,032

News

The number of job vacancies remains under 9,000

According to Statistics Estonia, in the last quarter of 2020, there were 8,707 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia. The number decreased by 16% year on year. More than 7,000 persons left their jobs on the employer’s initiative.
Read more 12. March 2021
News

Average monthly gross wages and salaries increased despite the difficult year

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2020, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,448 euros, which is 2.9% higher than the year before. It has been ten years since the annual growth in wages and salaries was so modest. Since 2011, the annual growth rate has steadily been over 5% and has even risen above 7% in several years.
Read more 3. March 2021
News

The number of job vacancies decreased by a fourth year on year

According to Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter of 2020, there were 8,689 vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia. This is 27% less than in the third quarter of 2019. The biggest labour turnover was recorded in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and education.
Read more 9. December 2020