Changes in the methodology of average wages and salaries (updated on 31.05.2023)
Since the first quarter of 2023, Statistics Estonia uses the data from the employment register of the Tax and Customs Board and the income and social tax declarations to publish the average wages and salaries. People working under employment contracts, the Civil Service Act*, and service contracts are included.
The change in methodology allows for the publication of median wage figures alongside the average wages and salaries. In addition, the predominantly register-based collection of data reduces the administrative burden for respondents.
An important change is that, since the first quarter of 2023, Statistics Estonia publishes data on median wages by economic activity, county and type of owner of the economic unit.
N.B. Please note that, due to the new methodology, a set of new tables is used starting from 25 May 2023.
- PA111: Average monthly gross wages (salaries), median, deciles and number of employees by economic activity section (quarterly)
- PA113: Average monthly gross wages (salaries) and median by economic activity (quarterly)
- PA115: Average monthly gross wages (salaries), median and number of employees by type of owner of economic unit (quarterly)
- PA117: Average monthly gross wages (salaries), median and number of employees by county (quarterly)
- PA119: Average monthly gross wages (salaries), median and number of employees by county (monthly)
- PA121: Average monthly gross wages (salaries), median and number of employees by economic activity section (monthly)
Data on hourly gross wages and salaries will continue to be published based on the previous methodology (i.e. based on the enterprise survey). It is important to remember that, due to changes in the methodology, the data in the tables PA112 and PA118 are not comparable with the wages and salaries data based on the new methodology. The main reason why the datasets are not comparable is the differences in terminology: the data collected with the survey refer to enterprises, while the data received from the register reflect payments made to employees. The data are comparable with the average hourly gross wages and salaries published in the tables PA001 and PA004.
- Payment – any monetary consideration paid to an employee or official, including remuneration, wages, bonuses, holiday pay, compensation or interest on arrears awarded by a court or labour dispute committee.
- Labour contribution – the percentage of days worked in a period (month/quarter) adjusted by the average working time rate. The contribution is adjusted for the shift in payments for the month in which employment ends.
- Working time rate – the contractual rate of working time of an employee or official. This does not depend on the hours actually worked. The working time rate is marked according to the workload agreed in the employment contract: full-time (1.0) or part-time (e.g. 0.25, 0.5, 0.75).
- Average monthly gross wages and salaries – the ratio between payment and labour contribution.
- Median gross monthly wage – the middle-ranking value of an ordered list of monthly gross wages and salaries with an equal number of values on either side.
- Deciles of gross monthly wages and salaries – deciles divide an ordered list of monthly gross wages and salaries into ten equal parts.
- Employee – a person who has an employment contract for an indefinite or a fixed period of time (including contracts for seasonal work), or a person who is employed under the Civil Service Act or under a service contract.
* Excluding employees in the areas of governance of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior.
More detailed data have been published in Statistics Estonia’s database.
See also the dedicated section on wages and salaries and labour costs.