Growth of average wages slows further in third quarter
Monthly gross wages and salaries in Estonia averaged 1,119 euros in the third quarter of 2016, marking a 7.1 increase compared to the same period last year but a decline of 3.8 percent against the second quarter of this year, Statistics Estonia reported.
The average monthly gross pay was 1,126 euros in July, 1,101 euros in August and 1,129 euros in September of this year. The slowdown of the rise in average wages was mainly due to a decrease in irregular bonuses and premiums and an increase in the number of paid leave days, Statistics Estonia said. Irregular bonuses and premiums excluded, the average monthly gross wages and salaries fell 2.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Irregular bonuses and premiums decreased 38.6 percent per employee compared to the second quarter of 2016, but increased 10.8 percent per employee compared to the third quarter of 2015.
Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased slower than the average monthly gross pay — by 6.7 percent — in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter of 2015 due to an increase in consumer prices. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages have been on the rise since the second half of 2011.
Average monthly pay in Estonia continued to be the highest in the information and communications as well as the financial and insurance sectors. Compared to the same period last year, gross wages rose in almost all economic sectors except mining and quarrying.
Compared to the third quarter of 2015, gross wages rose the most in administrative and support service activities and in real estate activities — by 18.3 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively. Above-average growth was also recorded in agriculture, forestry and fishing, information and communications and in other service activities.
Year-on-year growth of average monthly gross wages and salaries was the fastest in the private sector at 8.6 percent. A faster than average increase occurred in local governments as well, where the average monthly gross wages and salaries were the lowest. The slowest increase in monthly gross wages and salaries was recorded in state institutions.
By county, third quarter average wages were highest in Harju and Tartu Counties at 1,253 euros and 1,105 euros, respectively, and lowest in Southern Estonia's Põlva County at 808 euros; Tartu County saw the most rapid increase in monthly wages as well, while slight year-on-year decreases were recorded in Hiiu and Rapla Counties.
According to Statistics Estonia's wage statistics survey, the number of employees converted to full-time employment decreased by 1.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2016 and by 2.1 percent compared to the third quarter of last year.