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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.

1,441 euros
3.2%
3RD QUARTER 2020
Average monthly gross wages and salaries 1,407 euros
7.4%
2019
Average hourly gross wages 8.3 euros
3.4%
3RD QUARTER 2020
Average monthly labour cost per employee 1,933 euros
3.4%
3RD QUARTER 2020
17.1 %
2019
Number of occupied posts 598,436
0.2%
3RD QUARTER 2020
Number of job vacancies 8,689
-26.9%
3RD QUARTER 2020
Average monthly gross wages | 2016 1st quarter - 2020 1st quarter
Unit: euros
2016 1st quarter 2016 2nd quarter 2016 3rd quarter 2016 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2020 1st quarter
Total - all NACE activities 1,091 1,163 1,119 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

Average hourly gross wages | 2016 1st quarter - 2020 1st quarter
Unit: euros
2016 1st quarter 2016 2nd quarter 2016 3rd quarter 2016 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2020 1st quarter
Total - all NACE activities 6.9 6.9 6.6 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

Average monthly labour cost per employee | 2016 1st quarter - 2020 1st quarter
2016 1st quarter 2016 2nd quarter 2016 3rd quarter 2016 4th quarter 2017 1st quarter 2017 2nd quarter 2017 3rd quarter 2017 4th quarter 2018 1st quarter 2018 2nd quarter 2018 3rd quarter 2018 4th quarter 2019 1st quarter 2019 2nd quarter 2019 3rd quarter 2019 4th quarter 2020 1st quarter
Total - all NACE activities 1,476 1,568 1,508 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

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
News

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