Gender pay gap has widened in a year

Posted on 13 November 2023, 8:00

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2022, the gross hourly earnings of female employees were 17.7% smaller than the earnings of male employees. The gender pay gap increased by 2.8 percentage points year on year.

The largest gap between men's and women's earnings was recorded in financial and insurance activities (32.9%), followed by wholesale and retail trade (31.6%), other service activities (27.8%), and manufacturing (25.8%). As in 2021, transportation and storage was the only economic activity where women earned more than men, with women's gross hourly earnings exceeding men's by 9.3%.

Gender pay gap, 1994–2022

Liina Kuusik, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the gender pay gap in Estonia narrowed by 9.9 percentage points from 2013 to 2021, but widened by 2.8 percentage points in 2022.  “Compared with 2021, the pay gap last year decreased the most in construction and increased the most in other service activities,” she noted.

Gender pay gap by economic activity, 2021–2022

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of male and female employees, divided by the average gross hourly earnings of male employees, and is expressed as a percentage. The average gross earnings, as used in the calculation of the gender pay gap, do not include irregular bonuses or premiums.

The statistics are based on the survey “Structure of Earnings”. The main representative of public interest for the statistical activity is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity. Statistics Estonia has been conducting the survey “Structure of Earnings” based on international methodology since 2005. The survey is carried out for October. Since 2010, the survey is conducted every four years. It is a comprehensive survey of earnings which provides the consumers with significantly more detailed data than quarterly wage statistics. The data of the survey reflect the number of employees, structure and earnings by occupation, economic activity, age, sex, type of contract, full-time and part-time work, and education. In the years between two “Structure of Earnings” surveys, only data on the number of male and female employees, the number of hours worked, and the earnings are collected with the questionnaire “Gross hourly earnings of male and female employees in October”.

Statistics Estonia and Eurostat use different methodologies to calculate the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap published by Eurostat does not take into account the indicators of enterprises and institutions with fewer than 10 employees. Also excluded are the earnings of employees in agriculture, forestry and fishing, and in public administration and defence.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.

For further information:

Vahur Koorits
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9204

press [at] (press[at]stat[dot]ee)

Photo: Shutterstock