In the 2nd quarter, the growth of average wages and salaries slowed down

news release no 88

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2018, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,321 euros, having increased by 6.4% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017. The year-on-year growth in average monthly gross wages and salaries was 1.3 percentage points slower than in the previous quarter.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,312 euros in April, 1,298 euros in May and 1,354 euros in June. Compared to the previous quarter, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 6.4%. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 6.3% compared to the previous quarter. In the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 8% per employee and were 33% higher than in the 2nd quarter of 2017. Irregular bonuses and premiums affected the year-on-year increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries by 1 percentage points. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 5.4% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased slower in comparison with the 2nd quarter of 2017 than the average monthly gross wages and salaries due to an increase in consumer prices. The year-on-year growth in real wages slowed down compared to the previous quarter and real wages increased 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages have been increasing since the second half of 2011.

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 7.50 euros, having increased by 1.6% compared to the previous quarter.

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in financial and insurance activities (2,192 euros) and information and communication (2,169 euros). Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in other service activities (incl. activities of organisations, repair of household goods, services), where the average monthly gross wages and salaries are among the lowest. The year-on-year growth in this economic activity is due to an increase in minimum wages as well as a change in Statistics Estonia’s wage statistics methodology, according to which since 2018 also non-profit organisations with less than 50 employees are included.

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased almost in all economic activities (excl. administrative and support service activities), being more modest in information and communication, transportation and storage, real estate activities and accommodation and food service activities.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in state institutions and enterprises (1,634) and in enterprises owned by foreign private entities (1,604 euros). The year-on-year increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries in the 2nd quarter of 2018 was the fastest in state and municipal institutions and enterprises (6.7%) and the slowest in enterprises owned by Estonian private entities (6.3%).

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, by county, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in Harju (1,469 euros) and Tartu (1,302 euros) counties and the lowest in Hiiu (967 euros) and Saare (977 euros) counties. The year-on-year growth in average monthly gross wages and salaries was the fastest in Hiiu, Saare, Põlva and Järve counties and remained at the level of the 2nd quarter of the previous year in Viljandi and Võru counties. Since the 1st quarter of 2018, data by county are presented based on the new administrative division.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, in the 2nd quarter of 2018, the number of employees converted to full-time units increased 1.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017 and 1% compared to the 1st quarter of 2018. The biggest year-on-year increase in the number of employees in full-time units occurred in other service activities, arts, entertainment and recreation activities and in real estate activities. The change in these economic activities is largely due to the inclusion of non-profit organisations with less than 50 employees in the population. In addition, over the course of a year, the number of employees converted to full-time units increased more also in financial and insurance activities and accommodation and food service activities and decreased more in administrative and support service activities and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

In the 2nd quarter of 2018, the average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,771 euros and the hourly labour costs 11.46 euros. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased by 5.9%.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee and the change, 1st quarter 2016 – 2nd quarter 2018
Year Quarter Average monthly wages
and salaries, euros
Change compared to the same
quarter of the previous year, %
2016 I 1,091 8.1
II 1,163 7.6
III 1,119 7.1
IV 1,182 6.9
2017 I 1,153 5.7
II 1,242 6.8
III 1,201 7.4
IV 1,271 7.5
2018 I 1,242 7.7
II 1,321 6.4

Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee and the change by economic activity, 2nd quarter, 2017–2018

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full-time units to enable a comparison of different wages and salaries, irrespective of the length of working time. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked or irregular premiums. In short-term statistics, the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force”, the deadline of which was 18 July 2018. Statistics Estonia published the quarterly summary in 29 working days. For the statistical activity “Wages and salaries”, 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.

Since 2018, the samples and questionnaires of statistical activities “Wages and salaries” and “Job vacancies and labour turnover” have been combined and data are collected with a new questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force”. From the 1st quarter of 2018, changes have been made in the population and sample: the sample was optimised and non-profit organisations with less than 50 employees were included in the population. Data are collected with the new questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force”, which replaced the previous questionnaires “Wages and salaries” and “Wages and salaries by county”. From the 1st quarter of 2018, data by county are published according to the new administrative division.

For further information:

Kai Maasoo
Leading Statistician
Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9327

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.