The gender pay gap remained at the level of previous year
According to Statistics Estonia, in October 2017, the average gross hourly earnings of female employees were 20.9% lower than the average gross hourly earnings of male employees. After three years of decrease, the gender pay gap remained at the same level as in the previous year.
In October 2017, the average gross hourly earnings without irregular bonuses and premiums were 6.26 euros for female employees and 7.91 euros for male employees. Compared to 2016, gross hourly earnings increased 3.7% for both female and male employees. While in 2014–2016, the gross hourly earnings of female employees rose faster than the gross hourly earnings of male employees, which is the main reason for the decrease in the pay gap (the difference between the hourly earnings of male and female employees), in 2017, the rise in the gross hourly earnings was equal.
In 2017, the gender pay gap was the biggest in financial and insurance activities (38.2%), where the gross hourly earnings of male employees rose (7.3%) compared to a year earlier, while the gross hourly earnings of female employees remained relatively constant (decreased 1.1%).
After financial and insurance activities, the next biggest pay gaps were recorded in mining and quarrying (31.1%), wholesale and retail trade (28.1%), manufacturing (28.0%) and human health and social work activities (27.9%). The difference between the gross hourly earnings of male and female employees was the smallest in water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (5.9%), transportation and storage (5.1%) and other service activities (1.1%).
Compared to 2016, the gender pay gap increased the most in financial and insurance activities (5.2 percentage points), transportation and storage (5.1 percentage points) and professional, scientific and technical activities (4.2 percentage points) and decreased the most in other service activities (6.7 percentage points) and in arts, entertainment and recreation (6.6 percentage points). In the past five years, the gender pay gap has decreased the most in other service activities and in education and increased the most in human health and social work activities.
With regard to type of ownership, the pay gap in institutions and enterprises owned by the state and municipalities was smaller than in enterprises owned by Estonian or foreign private entities. This was the case also in previous years. In 2017, the pay gap in state institutions and enterprises was 18.4% and in municipal institutions and enterprises 12.2%, whereas the pay gap in the enterprises owned by Estonian private entities was 19.2% and in the enterprises owned by foreign private entities 30.8%.
The pay gap in the public sector (state and municipal institutions and enterprises) and private sector (enterprises owned by Estonian and foreign private entities) was almost the same – 22.4% and 22.0%, respectively.In 2017, the pay gap was the biggest in Ida-Viru county (27.9%), followed by Järva (25.6%), Hiiu (25.3%) and Võru (24.0%) counties and the smallest in Saare (11.3%), Põlva (12.9%), Lääne-Viru (14.3) and Rapla (15.0%) counties.
Statistics Estonia and Eurostat use different population to calculate the gender pay gap. Although Eurostat receives data from the statistical offices of the Member States, the pay gap published by Eurostat does not take into account the indicators of enterprises and institutions with fewer than 10 employees; it also excludes the earnings of employees in agriculture, forestry and fishing and in public administration and defence. According to Eurostat’s calculations, the gender pay gap in Estonia is the biggest in the European Union (25.3% in 2016). According to Statistics Estonia, the gender pay gap in Estonia in 2016 was 20.9%, taking into account all enterprises and institutions and all economic activities.
Statistics Estonia has calculated the pay gap since 1994. In 2017, the sample included around 12,300 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The gender pay gap is calculated by deducting the average gross hourly earnings of female employees from the average gross hourly earnings of male employees, divided by the average gross hourly earnings of male employees and expressed as a percentage. The calculated average gross hourly earnings do not include irregular bonuses and premiums.The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Gender pay gap” (until 2017, the name of the statistical activity was “Wages, annex for October”), the deadline of which was 1 December 2017. For the statistical activity, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.
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More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.