Estonian gender pay gap decreased to 21 pct

According to Statistics Estonia, in October 2016, the average gross hourly earnings of female employees were 20.9% lower than the average gross hourly earnings of male employees. The gender pay gap decreased by 1.3 percentage points compared to the previous year. The gender pay gap decreased by 1.3 percentage points for the third year in a row.

In October 2016, the average gross hourly earnings without irregular bonuses and premiums were 6.04 euros for female employees and 7.63 euros for male employees. Compared to 2015, gross hourly earnings increased 11.6% for female employees and 9.8% for male employees. In the past three years, the gross hourly earnings of female employees have risen faster than the gross hourly earnings of male employees, which is the main reason for the decrease in the pay gap (the difference between the hourly earnings of male and female employees).

In 2016, the gender pay gap was the biggest in mining and quarrying (36.4%), where the majority of employees are men. A larger share of male employees in a particular field of activity is not always related to a bigger than average pay gap. Another economic activity with mostly male employees is construction, but the pay gap in this field is smaller than average – 15.3%.

After mining and quarrying, the next biggest pay gaps were recorded in financial and insurance activities (33.0%), manufacturing (29.5%), wholesale and retail trade (29.0%) and human health and social work activities (26.0%). The difference between the gross hourly earnings of male and female employees was smallest in water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (8.9%), public administration and defence (8.0%) and other service activities (7.8%). The pay gap was non-existent in transportation and storage activities.

Compared to 2015, the gender pay gap increased the most in administrative and support service activities (8.0 percentage points), accommodation and food service activities (4.9 percentage points), and in mining and quarrying (4.1 percentage points) and decreased the most in construction (6.3 percentage points), other service activities (6.2 percentage points) and professional, scientific and technical activities (6.1 percentage points). In the past five years, the pay gap has decreased the most in other service activities and real estate activities and increased the most in administrative and support service activities, in agriculture, forestry and fishing and in mining and quarrying.

With regard to ownership, the pay gap in institutions and enterprises owned by the state and local governments was smaller than in enterprises owned by Estonian or foreign private entities. In 2016, the pay gap in state institutions and enterprises was 17.0% and in local government institutions and enterprises 11.6%, whereas the pay gap in the enterprises owned by Estonian private entities was 19.5% and in the enterprises owned by foreign private entities 29.7%.

The pay gap in the public sector (includes state and local government institutions and enterprises) and private sector (includes enterprises owned by Estonian and foreign private entities) was almost the same – 21.6% and 21.8%, respectively.

In 2016, the pay gap was the biggest in Ida-Viru (27.9%), Jõgeva (25.3%), Hiiu (23.4%) and Lääne (22.1%) counties and smallest in Põlva (11.3%), Rapla (15.1%) and Tartu (15.9%) counties.The difference between the gross hourly earnings of female and male employees, 2016

Statistics Estonia and Eurostat use different methodologies to calculate the gender pay gap. Although Eurostat receives data from the statistical offices of the Member States, the 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. According to Eurostat’s calculations, the gender pay gap in Estonia is the biggest in the European Union (26.9% in 2015). According to Statistics Estonia, the gender pay gap in Estonia in 2015 was 22.2%, taking into account all enterprises and institutions and all economic activities.

Statistics Estonia has calculated the pay gap since 1994. In 2016, the sample included around 12,350 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The gender pay gap is calculated by deducting the average gross hourly earnings of female employees from the average gross hourly earnings of male employees, divided by the average gross hourly earnings of male employees and expressed as a percentage. The calculated average gross hourly earnings do not include irregular bonuses and premiums.

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Wages, annex for October” (from 2017, the name of the statistical activity is “Gender pay gap”), the deadline of which was 1 December 2016. For the statistical activity, 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.

Source: Statistics Estonia (see graph)
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