Estonian salaries increased by 6 pct in 2015

According to Statistics Estonia, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,065 euros and the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 6.51 euros. Compared to 2014, the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased by 6.0%. The monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in the 4th quarter.

When the annual increase of the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 5.9% in 2014, then in 2015 the growth of monthly gross wages and salaries remained stable. The average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in the 4th quarter (1,105 euros), increasing 6.4% compared to the 4th quarter of 2014 and 5.8% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2015.

Compared to the 4th quarter of 2014, the end-of-year irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 3.1% per employee and influenced the growth of average monthly gross wages and salaries by 0.2 percentage points. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased 6.6% in the 4th quarter of 2015.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased, due to the continued decrease in consumer prices, faster than the average monthly gross wages and salaries compared to the 4th quarter of 2014 (6.9%). Real wages have increased from the second half of 2011 for the eighteenth quarter in succession.

In the 4th quarter of 2015, the average gross monthly wages and salaries grew the most for the second quarter in a row in three economic activities – in real estate activities (16.2%), in accommodation and food service activities (14.8%) and in arts, entertainment and recreation (14.6%). In the previous quarters, the growth of the monthly gross wages and salaries have been the fastest in the economic activities with lower monthly gross wages and salaries than the average monthly gross wages and salaries. In real estate activities, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most also in year-to-year comparison: in 2015 it grew 14.0% compared to 2014. The average monthly gross wages and salaries did not increase in the 4th quarter of 2015 in two economic activities – in construction and in finance and insurance activities, the monthly gross wages and salaries decreased 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively.

According to the Wages and Salaries Survey, the number of employees (reduced to full-time units), have decreased by 2.4% in the 4th quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter of 2014. The number of employees decreased the most in lower paid economic activities – in 10 out of 11 economic activities that are paid below the average monthly gross wages and salaries. The number of employees increased the most in finance and insurance and in information and communication activities (18.2% and 11.2%, respectively).

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,066 euros in October, 1,093 euros in November and 1,160 euros in December.

In the 4th quarter of 2015, the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 6.67 euros and they increased by 5.0% compared to the 4th quarter of 2014. The average hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in accommodation and food service activities (14.8%), real estate activities (13.2%) and in arts, entertainment and recreation (13.2%). The average hourly gross wages and salaries did not increase in three economic activities: construction, other service activities and finance and insurance activities.

In the 4th quarter of 2015, the average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,492 euros and the hourly labour costs were 9.67 euros, which have increased 6.3% and 5.1%, respectively, compared to the 4th quarter of 2014. The largest increase in monthly and hourly labour costs occurred in real estate activities (monthly 16.8% and hourly 15.5%).

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and their change compared to same period of the previous year, 1st quarter 2013 – 4th quarter 2015
Year Period Average gross wages and salaries, euros Change compared to the same period of the previous year, %
2015 I 1010 4,5
II 1082 5,8
III 1045 6,9
IV 1105 6,4
Year 1065 6,0
2014 I 966 7,3
II 1023 4,8
III 977 5,0
IV 1039 5,3
Year 1005 5,9
2013 I 900 6,3
II 976 8,5
III 930 8,8
IV 986 7,6
Year 949 7,0

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries and their change by economic activity

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. In 2015, the sample includes 12,074 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.

Read more from Statistics Estonia (see better graph here)

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