Gender pay gap is slowly narrowing

news release no 87
The news release was corrected on 22.07.2020. Please consider the data marked in red as correct.

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the gross hourly earnings of female employees were 17.1% lower than the gross hourly earnings of male employees. The gender pay gap decreased by 0.9 percentage points year on year.

The gross hourly earnings of female employees were 7.10 euros and the gross hourly earnings of male employees 8.56 euros. The gap was biggest in wholesale and retail trade (28.7%), financial and insurance activities (27.1%) and in mining and quarrying (26.5%). Transportation and storage was the only economic activity where women earned more than men.

According to Karina Valma, analyst at Statistics Estonia, the gender pay gap has decreased by 7.7 percentage points since 2013. “Although the gap is narrowing very slowly, the difference in the wages of men and women has never been smaller in Estonia. In 2019, compared to 2018, the wage gap decreased the most in professional, scientific and technical activities and increased the most in other service activities, such as the activities of membership organisations, repair of household goods and beauty treatment,” explained Valma.

In cooperation with the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner and researchers at the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology, in autumn, a development will be added to Statistics Estonia’s wages and salaries application, which will make it possible to compare wage data by gender.

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 questionnaire “Wage gap”. Statistics Estonia analyses the data collected with the questionnaire for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

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; it also excludes the earnings of employees in agriculture, forestry and fishing and in public administration and defence.

For further information:

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

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.