Increase in average wages and salaries driven by information and communication

news release no 65

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2020, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,404 euros, which is 4.8% higher than the year before. In quarterly comparison, the increase is the most modest in recent years.

Compared to the 4th quarter of 2019, the average monthly gross wages and salaries decreased by 4.6%. According to Karina Valma, analyst at Statistics Estonia, this is mainly due to a decrease in irregular bonuses. “Compared to the 4th quarter of 2019, irregular bonuses decreased by 37%, which is normal at the beginning of the year,” said Valma. The average monthly labour cost per employee was 1,876 euros, which is 4.3% higher than the year before.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee and their change, 2017–2020
Year Quarter Average monthly gross wages and salaries, euros Change on same period of previous year, %
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
  III 1,291 7.5
  IV 1,384 8.9
2019 I 1,341 7.9
  II 1,419 7.4
  III 1,397 8.2
  IV 1,472 6.3
2020 I 1,404 4.8

In the 1st quarter of 2020, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in Harju (1,546 euros) and Tartu (1,380 euros) counties and lowest in Valga (1,079 euros), Jõgeva (1,078 euros) and Hiiu (996 euros) counties. The year-on-year growth was fastest in Põlva (13.1%), Järva (11%) and Lääne-Viru (10.9%) counties.

By economic activity, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in information and communication (2,537 euros), financial and insurance activities (2,529 euros) and energy (2,338 euros). Compared to the 1st quarter of 2019, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in information and communication (15.6%). The average monthly gross wages and salaries decreased only in wholesale and retail trade (8.7%).

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in state institutions and enterprises (1,814 euros) and enterprises owned by foreign private entities (1,715 euros). The year-on-year growth of the average monthly gross wages and salaries was fastest in enterprises owned by foreign private entities (7.1%) and slowest in enterprises owned by Estonian private entities (3.2%).

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Wages and salaries and labour force”, the deadline of which was 18 April 2020. Statistics Estonia published the quarterly summary in 26 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. Wage compensation received during the emergency situation is considered as remuneration paid by the employer, which is paid to the employee on behalf of the employer by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. Social tax and unemployment insurance premium paid on the compensation are not considered as employer’s social contributions or unemployment insurance premium.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database (Average wages and salaries and labour cost per employee, 1st quarter 2020).

For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181