Title of statistical activity: Labour cost index

Code of statistical activity: 21106

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Karina Valma

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".


1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 6258 420

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Labour cost indices (wages and salaries; labour costs other than wages and salaries; total labour costs; total labour costs excluding bonuses) by economic activity sections (identified by letters B to S in EMTAK)

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2008) based on NACE Rev. 2

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Economically active units – enterprises, institutions, organisations (excl. economic units without employees)

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Employers’ social and imputed contributions index – index which expresses the change of employers’ social and imputed contributions costs per hour.

Labour cost – total of wages and salaries costs and social and imputed contributions costs.

Labour cost excluding bonuses – labour cost which does not include irregular bonuses and additional remuneration (quarterly, annual and Christmas bonus, performance pay, etc.).

Labour cost index – index which expresses the change of total labour costs per hour.

Labour cost index excluding bonuses – index which expresses the change of total labour costs per hour excluding bonuses.

Number of hours worked – hours actually worked by full-time and part-time employees, incl. time spent on tasks such as work preparation, repairing and cleaning equipment and devices, completing job tasks and reports; time spent at the place of work but not worked, e.g. machine stoppages, tea and coffee breaks, and overtime hours.

Seasonally adjusted index – expresses the change in the cost per hour, if not affected by regularly occurring seasonal factors.

Social and imputed contributions cost – social tax, employer’s unemployment insurance premium, employer’s agreed and voluntary payments: agreed and voluntary insurance to employees (life, health, accident insurance, etc.) and agreed and voluntary payments to pension, medical, unemployment insurance schemes, etc. It includes employer’s allowances in the case of sickness, accident at work or occupational disease; allowances for ending working relationship; employer benefits for medical care and for employee on parental leave and for former employees (allowances, pensions, etc.); one-time allowance in the case of a jubilee, birth or death; stipends and tuition payments for employees and their family members, etc.

Wages and salaries cost – time-rate and piece-rate payments; additional remuneration for overtime work, night work and holiday work, for work in difficult and unhealthy conditions; regular additional remuneration for qualifications, language and length of service, etc.; holiday pay (unused holiday pay) and benefits; work stoppage payment; pay during strike and lock-out; average payment due to no work provided by the employer or a work obstacle; pay for the time spent in formal or work-related training; payment in kind. This also includes additional remuneration and bonuses (monthly, quarterly and annual bonus, Christmas bonus, cost-of-living compensation, etc.). This also includes indirect allowances: discounts for transportation to work and home; subsidies to cafeterias, food coupons (vouchers) for employees; subsidies to kindergartens or day cares or payment of kindergarten and day care fees for the employee; subsidies to sales facilities and shops; various discounts in culture, sports, leisure and service areas; payments to trade union funds; employer payments for savings schemes for employees (employer saving schemes, stock purchase schemes, etc.).

Wages and salaries index – index which expresses the change of wages and salaries costs per hour.

Working-day adjusted index – expresses the change in the cost per hour taking into account the number of work days.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.

Economic unit

3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Economically active units – enterprises, institutions, organisations (excl. economic units without employees)

All state and local government institutions as well as units with 50 or more employees are surveyed. For other units, i.e. enterprises with fewer than 50 employees, simple random sample method is applied.


List of economically active units (excl. economic units without employees).

The list is generated from the Business Register for Statistical Purposes.

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.

Labour cost indices 2000–…

3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

The base year for the indices is 2016 = 100.

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Index is without unit

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.


6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Regulation (EC) No 450/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 February 2003 concerning the labour cost index

Commission Regulation (EC) No 224/2007 of 1 March 2007 amending Regulation (EC) No 1216/2003 as regards the economic activities covered by the labour cost index

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1216/2003 of 7 July 2003 implementing Regulation (EC) No 450/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the labour cost index


Not available


Not available

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.


10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

Not published

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee under the subject area “Economy / Wages and salaries and labour costs / Labour cost indices” in the following tables:

PAT21: Labour cost indices (LCI) by economic activity, 2016 = 100 (quarterly)

PAT22: Labour cost indices (LCI), changes over previous year by economic activity

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Not used

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Regulation (EC) No 450/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 February 2003 concerning the labour cost index


Commission Regulation (EC) No 1216/2003 of 7 July 2003 implementing Regulation (EC) No 450/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the labour cost index


Commission Regulation (EC) No 224/2007 of 1 March 2007 amending Regulation (EC) No 1216/2003 as regards the economic activities covered by the labour cost index


10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Quality report submitted to Eurostat

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

In compliance with the rules (regulations)

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The type of survey and the data collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

Eurostat and the national statistical institutes try to reduce non-sampling errors through continuous methodological improvements and survey process improvements.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Timeliness Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe.

The data are published within 70 days of the end of the reference quarter (T + 70).

14.2. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The definitions and classifications used in Estonia comply with international definitions and classifications ensuring international comparability of the data.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

The data are comparable over time since 2000. The data meet the international quality criteria applied to transmitted current and back data.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

Data collection for labour costs statistics is closely related to other statistics in the same field. Coherence issues (differences in coverage, definitions and/or methodology) should be taken into account when comparing data related to the same variables from different sources (Labour Cost Survey, National Accounts).

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

The outputs of the statistical activity are coherent. The higher-level aggregate data are calculated on the basis of detailed data according to calculation rules.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 85.3 thousand euros (data for 2018)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


Total population is 80,900objects. The sample includes 5,700 objects per month and 8,500 objects per quarter.

All state and local government institutions and enterprises with 50 and more employees are surveyed.

For enterprises with less than 50 employees, stratified simple random sampling by economic activity is used. Economic entities with 1,000 and more employees and which are active in more than one county are requested to submit data by county.


For pre-filling the questionnaires, tax return data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board are used (form TSD, Annex 1 and Annex 2).


Since 2018 data are collected with questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force” (statistical activity 21101 “Wages and salaries”).

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.


18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected and the submission of questionnaires is monitored through eSTAT (the web channel for electronic data submission). The questionnaires have been designed for independent completion in eSTAT and include instructions and controls. The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Data are collected with the monthly official statistics questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force” (statistical activity 21101).

The data from the Tax and Customs Board are received via X-Road and an FTP-server.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative checks are used in the validation process, including checking that the population coverage and response rates are as required, comparison with the data of previous periods, other surveys and with administrative data sources.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

If the data is odered then missing data of nonrespondents belonging to the completely enumerated part of the population are imputed by using the hot deck method. If the number of employees of a nonrespondent is larger than 100, the missing data of this unit are imputed by the data of the previous period of the same unit.

Let us consider first the part of the population which is investigated by sample survey. It is assumed that among the nonrespondents of each stratum there are relatively as many economically active units as among the respondents of this stratum. The missing data of those assumed to be active nonrespondents are imputed by the corresponding means of the active respondents. As a matter of fact, within a stratum equal response probability is assumed.

Then the design weights are calculated and aggregate indicators are computed on the basis of collected data.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Time series are seasonally and working-day adjusted.

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

Since 2018, the samples of statistical activities 21101 “Wages and salaries” and 21104 “Job vacancies and labour turnover” and questionnaires (1085, 1380, 1364, 1379) are merged. Since 2018, the population includes economic entities with at least one employee (previously the population was based on persons employed), non-profit associations and foundations with less than 50 employees are added to the population and the sample has been optimized. Since 2018, data are requested with new questionnaire 1462 “Wages and salaries and labour force”, while previously questionnaires 1085 “Wages and salaries” and 1380 “Wages and salaries by county” were used.