Average wages €1,163 the second quarter despite July boost
In the second quarter of 2016, average monthly gross wages and salaries in Estonia reached€1,163, and the average hourly gross wages and salaries €6.91. This is 7.6% and 4.5% more than a year ago, though also 0.5% and 3.2% less than in the first quarter of 2016.
In June wages reached €1,220, which was mainly due to an increase in irregular bonuses and premiums as well as holiday leave pay, Statistics Estonia reported.
Irregular bonuses and premiums affected the increase in average gross monthly wages and salaries by 0.3%. Without them, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 7.3% compared to last year in the second quarter, with annual growth remaining on the same level as in the first quarter, namely some 7.2%.
Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased 8.3% faster due to the continued decrease in consumer prices. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages have been increasing since the second half of 2011.
Average wages were highest in information and communication as well as financial and insurance activities, though they rose across the board, with the only exception being mining and quarrying. The largest increase of monthly and hourly wages and salaries occurred in real estate activities, namely by 23.5%.
A higher than average annual growth was also recorded in administrative and support service activities, accommodation and food service activities, and in information and communication, by 13.5%, 12.6%, and 11.5%, respectively.
The annual growth of monthly gross wages and salaries was fastest in the Estonian private sector, and lowest in state institutions, totaling 9.4% and 5.5%, respectively.
By county, the average monthly gross wages and salaries in the second quarter were highest in the Harju, Tartu, Viljandi and Lääne counties, and lowest in the Põlva, Ida-Viru, and Valga counties. The annual growth of average monthly gross wages and salaries was fastest in Tartu and Pärnu, and slowest in Ida-Viru County.
In the second quarter of 2016, average monthly labor costs per employee reached €1,568, and hourly labor costs €10.32. Compared to the second quarter of 2015, the average monthly labor costs per employee increased by 7.5 percent.