Erasmus student exchange is most active towards Germany

Last year 1,153 Estonian students took part in the Europe-wide student exchange program, with 1,274 arriving in Estonia.

The total number of students receiving the scholarship in the EU was 270,000, a new record, a European Commission study found. A year earlier that figure was 250,000.

The number of Estonian students heading abroad for one or two semesters increased by 6 percent compared to the 2011/2012 school year.

Germany (151 students) was the most popular destination for Estonian students, with Spain (135), Finland (126) and France (77) also popular.

More German students (214) chose Estonia than any other nationality, with 137 French, 117 Italian and 101 Spanish students also picking Estonia.

Source: ERR News

Universities received about 10,000 applications each

The University of Tartu (UT) and Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) both receive around 10,000 applications from potential students, the same number as last year, despite the number of high school graduates dropping substantially.

UT received 10,658 applications, around 1,000 more than a year ago. 7,623 applications were for the first level of higher education, 2,655 for masters degree programs and 380 for PhD levels.

The most popular fields were medicine (789 applications for 160 places), legal studies (398 and 150), information technology (391 and 94) and physiotherapy (356 and 32).

The number of foreign students applying to study at the nation’s oldest university increased by 45 percent to 1,191.

TUT took in 9,580 applications, 900 fewer than last year, which reflects the drop in the number of high school graduates.

IT was the most popular field in TUT, with 384 applications (70 places available), followed by business studies (289 applications, 90 places), business IT (227 and 125) and logistics (222 and 50).

Tallinn University received 9,415 applications for the upcoming school year from potential students this summer, including 514 from foreign countries.

The most popular programs in undergraduate educations were the department of psychology (542 applications), management and business administration (443), early childhood educations (441), law (414) and physical education (336).

At the master’s level, the most popular areas for applicants were organizational behavior (264 applications), social pedagogy and child protection (177), special education teaching and counseling (156), communications, (155) and social care (142).

The university will have 2,800 places for students. About 1,830 places will go to undergraduate and professional higher education students, and 930 to master’s and doctoral level students.

 

Source: ERR NEWS

Tax inspectors visit construction and service companies

Estonian companies in the construction and service have been warned of a blanket blitz where 77 inspectors will take to the field in July and August to make sure the companies are keeping proper records on employees.

A change is taking effect on July 1 where companies must now register all employees directly with the tax authority rather than the Health Insurance Fund.

Read more from ERR News

The number of job vacancies increased in 1st Q

According to Statistics Estonia, there were 7,200 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia in the 1st quarter of 2014. The number of job vacancies increased by 13% compared to the previous quarter and by 3% compared to the 1st quarter of 2013.

The rate of job vacancies, i.e. the share of job vacancies in the total number of jobs (the sum of occupied posts and vacancies) was 1.3% in the 1st quarter of 2014.

The rate of job vacancies was the highest in other service activities (3.3%) and the lowest in real estate activities (0.04%). Other service activities include laundries, dry cleaning, beauty services, repair of computers and personal goods etc.

Manufacturing had the highest share of posts (19%) in the total number of posts, while the share of posts for other service activities was only 1%.

The increase in the number of job vacancies was the biggest in accommodation and other service activities, where there were 2.4 times more vacancies compared to the 1st quarter of 2013.

66% of job vacancies and 55% of occupied posts were in Harju county (incl. Tallinn). The rate of job vacancies was also the highest in Harju county (1.6%) and the lowest in Hiiu county (0.04%).

24% of the job vacancies were in the public sector and 76% in the private sector. The rate of job vacancies was 1.2% in the public sector and 1.4% in the private sector. The public sector also includes companies owned by the state or local government.

Rate of job vacancies, 1st quarter 2005 – 1st quarter 2014

Diagram: Rate of job vacancies

In the 4th quarter of 2013, a total of 62,000 employees were engaged and left their jobs (labour turnover). The labour turnover decreased by 1.5% compared to the 4th quarter of 2012.

A job vacancy is a paid post that is newly created, unoccupied or becomes vacant when an employee leaves, and for which the employer is actively trying to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise, institution or organisation concerned.

The data are based on the job vacancies and labour turnover survey conducted by Statistics Estonia since 2005. In 2014, the sample included 12,267 enterprises, institutions and organisations.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The income of employees increased in all counties last year

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2013, the average monthly gross income per employee was 900 euros. Compared to 2012, the average gross income increased in all counties.

The average monthly gross income was higher than the Estonian average in Harju and Tartu counties, and the lowest in Valga county (746 euros). In recent years, the indicator for Harju county (which has the highest gross income) has been slightly over 10% higher than the Estonian average, while the indicator for Valga county (which has the lowest gross income) has been about 15% below the Estonian average.

Among cities and rural municipalities, the highest monthly income was earned by employees in Harju county. The monthly gross income was the highest in Viimsi rural municipality (1,293 euros) and the lowest in Kallaste city and Peipsiääre rural municipality (slightly over 630 euros). The difference between the local government units with the highest and the lowest gross income has decreased in recent years – it was 55% in 2012 and 51% in 2013. In Tallinn, the average monthly gross income per employee was 985 euros.

In 2013 gross income was earned by 509,323 persons, which is 4,600 more than the year before. This growth is mainly the result of the 6% increase in the number of earners aged 63 and older. The number of income recipients grew the most in Harju county, followed by Tartu and Ida-Viru counties. The number of income recipients decreased in Järva, Saare, Lääne and Lääne-Viru counties.

Average monthly gross income per employee in local government units, 2013

Map: Average monthly gross income per employee in local government units, 2013

The analysis is based on the data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board as at 31 March 2014. The average monthly gross income per employee is calculated by dividing the monthly average sum of disbursements with the monthly average number of persons receiving disbursements.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonian average salary was 949 euros in 2013

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2013, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 949 euros and the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 5.73 euros. Compared to 2012, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased 7.0% and the average hourly gross wages and salaries increased 7.3%.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased 4.1% in 2013. After the fall in 2009 and 2010, real wages increased for the third year in a row compared to the previous year.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries without irregular bonuses and premiums increased 6.9%. Compared to 2012, irregular bonuses and premiums increased 9.2% and influenced the rise in average monthly gross wages by 0.1 percentage points.

Compared to 2012, the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in agriculture, forestry and fishing – by 11.0% and 15.9%, respectively. The average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries decreased the most in arts, entrainment and recreation – by 1.9% and 3.4%, respectively.

In 2013 the employer’s average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,284 euros and the average hourly labour costs were 8.56 euros. Compared to 2012, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased by 6.7% and the average hourly labour costs by 7.2%.

In 2013 the average monthly labour costs per employee increased the most in mining and quarrying (10.6%) and the average hourly labour costs increased the most in agriculture, forestry and fishing (15.5%). The average monthly labour costs per employee and hourly labour costs decreased the most in professional, scientific and technical activities (by 2.3% and 2.6%, respectively).

In 2013 the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased in all counties and also in case of all kinds of owners. The average monthly gross wages and salaries were 967 euros in the public sector and 942 euros in the private sector. Compared to 2012, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 7.9% in the public sector and by 6.7% in the private sector. The public sector includes companies owned by the state or local government.

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. In 2013 the sample included 11,592 enterprises, institutions and organisations. 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. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.). 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 data on the average monthly gross income per employee published by Statistics Estonia on 12 June 2014 were based on the Estonian Tax and Customs Board’s data on disbursements, which do not take into account the length of working time (full-time or part-time employees) and the number of hours worked. Statistics Estonia publishes the data on average monthly gross income per employee in order to allow a comparison of local government units, as the data on average monthly gross wages and salaries do not allow such comparisons.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries,
1st quarter 2009 – 4th quarter 2013 (euros)
Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter
2009 784 776 813 752 783
2010 792 758 822 759 814
2011 839 792 857 809 865
2012 887 847 900 855 916
2013 949 900 976 930 986

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee, 2013

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee, 2013

Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2013

Diagram: Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2013

 

 

Source: Statistics Estonia

Transferwise doubles Estonian workforce

Transferwise CEO Kristo Käärmann has pledged that the alternative bank transfer service will create 70 jobs in Estonia by next year.

Recently bolstered by an investment by English business magnate and investor Richard Branson, among others, the London-headquartered company started by two Estonians claims users have made 1 billion euros worth of transfers, saving 45 million euros in bank fees in the process.

This week, it was also announced that the company placed 16th on CNBC’s list of 50 movers and shakers in the field of technology, side by side with Dropbox, Uber and Spotify.

TransferWise’s founders also won recognition at London Technology Week for a “startup to riches” success story. It announced 18.4 million euros in investments last week.

Currently the company has its IT development, customer support and payment operators in Tallinn – 70 of the company’s 100 employees. The rest are in London. Käärmann said the plan is to double the size of the Tallinn office.

Source: ERR News

Ambassador attracts Spanish unemployed youth to Estonia

For two years already, the Ambassador of Spain in Estonia, Alvaro de la Riva Guzman de Frutos, has been negotiating with enterprises, Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and the job mediation network EURES aimed at attracting unemployed young Spaniards to come to Estonia for work.

Postimees writes that while at first the ambassador was negotiating with representatives of tourism and IT sectors, both of which require English language skills, the focus is now only on the IT sector, mainly because wages in Estonian hotel and restaurant business are too low to compete, for instance, with Norway.

Read more from BBN

Estonian average salary was 966 euros in 1Q

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2014, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 966 euros and the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 6.02 euros. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased 7.3% and the average hourly gross wages and salaries increased 6.9%.

The 4th quarter of 2012 was the last time when average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased in all economic activities. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries in the 1st quarter of 2014 was slightly slower than in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2013. The average monthly gross wages and salaries without irregular bonuses and premiums increased 7.1%. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, irregular bonuses and premiums increased 11.2% per employee and influenced the rise in average monthly gross wages by 0.2 percentage points.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased 6.7% in the 1st quarter of 2014. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages increased for the eleventh quarter in succession.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, the number of employees as at the end of March was 2.5% higher than at the same time in 2013.

In the 1st quarter of 2014 compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in agriculture, forestry and fishing (14.7%) and the average hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in transportation and storage (12.6%).

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased the least in information and communication – by 2.9% and 1.6%, respectively.

The average gross wages and salaries were 944 euros in January, 948 euros in February and 1,003 euros in March.

In the 1st quarter of 2014, the employer’s average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,305 euros and the average hourly labour costs were 8.56 euros. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased by 7.0% and the average hourly labour costs per employee by 6.6%.

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased the most in agriculture, forestry and fishing (14.5%) and the average hourly labour costs per employee increased the most in transportation and storage (14.3%).

Compared to the 1st quarter of 2013, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased the least in information and communication (1.1%). Average hourly labour costs per employee in information and communication remained the same.

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. In 2014 the sample includes 11,920 enterprises, institutions and organisations. 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. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.). 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.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries,
1st quarter 2010 – 1st quarter 2014 (euros)
Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter
2010 792 758 822 759 814
2011 839 792 857 809 865
2012 887 847 900 855 916
2013 900 976 930 986
2014 966

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee,
1st quarter 2014

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee

Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs per employee,
1st quarter 2014

Source: Statistics Estonia

The fall in GDP does not reflect in wages

Data from Statistics Estonia show that the average gross monthly wage increased by 7.3% over the year in the first quarter of 2014, and the gross hourly wage by 6%. Quarterly growth in seasonally adjusted average wages has slowed noticeably in the past half year. Given the fall in GDP, wage growth can still be considered strong. Partly this is because the fall in GDP was in less labour intensive sectors, and partly it was because wage growth was boosted by the rise in January of a little over 10% in the minimum wage.

By ownership type, the companies that saw the fastest growth in the average wage were Estonian private companies, where seasonally adjusted quarterly wage growth was more than twice as fast as the average for the whole economy. Wages paid by local authorities rose rapidly in the last quarter of last year, but they could not maintain the same speed in 2014. This indicates that part of the jump in wage growth in the fourth quarter may have been due to irregular components of wages.

In manufacturing industry, which is more dependent on the external environment than the average, the growth in average wages has slowed more than the average for the economy as a whole, and in the first quarter of 2014 it stood at 6.5%. Faster growth in labour costs than in productivity in manufacturing is more of a risk than in other sectors, as it is relatively hard to pass costs on into product prices because of competition from foreign companies. Neither are companies able to cover wage growth from profits for a long time, as Estonia needs to compete against other possible bases of production. An increase of 5-6% in the share of the payroll probably led to a reduction in profit margins for manufacturing companies. It is positive to note that there are indications from the last two quarters that an adjustment has started.

It is interesting to observe the developments in average wages in different sectors over the last economic cycle. Seasonally adjusted wages have grown most strongly in the industrial sector (see Table). Wages in the public sector and in real estate have grown more modestly from where they were before the crisis.

The impact of the weak economic environment on the labour market can be seen in a fall in the number of employed and in the slowdown in wage growth. Wage rises have slowed most sharply in the exporting sector. Wages in companies focused on the domestic market and in the public sector follow those in the exporting sector with a lag, meaning that wage growth in those sectors will slow later. In the long term the public sector should not be the leader in wage growth as it would make it hard for companies in the private sector competing for the same labour resources to match wages and productivity.

Eesti Pank observes and comments on wage developments as labour costs have a direct impact on the price of goods and services produced in Estonia and wage growth is an important indicator of price stability.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Orsolya Soosaar and Natalja Viilmann, Economists at Eesti Pank

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