Statistics: Average wages and salaries grow despite pandemic year

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Average wages and salaries in trade decreased over 2020. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

According to state data agency Statistics Estonia the average monthly gross wages and salaries in Estonia in 2020 were €1,448, 2.9 percent higher than the year before. Trade, accomodation, catering and arts and entertainment however saw a decline in average wages during the corona-riddled year.

The nearly 3 percent increase is the first time in ten years the increase has been so modest. Since 2011, the annual growth rate has steadily been over 5 percent and has even risen above 7 percent in several years, Statistics Estonia reported on Wednesday.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in Harju county (€1,588) and Tartu county (€1,447), and the lowest in Hiiu county (€1,063) and Valga county (€1,106).

Compared to 2019, the average gross wages and salaries increased the most in Lääne-Viru, Põlva and Järva counties, while the biggest decrease was recorded in Lääne and Pärnu counties.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and their change, 2010–2020. Source: Statistics Estonia

Karina Valma, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that wages and salaries rose in most economic activities despite the difficult year. "The increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries was the biggest in information and communication (9.9 percent) and in professional, scientific and technical activities (8 percent). There were three economic activities where average wages did still decline: most sharply in trade (9.7 percent) and also in accommodation and food services (4.9 percent) and in arts and entertainment (2.2 percent)," Valma said.

The average wages and salaries were again the highest in information and communication (€2,574), in financial and insurance activities (€2,461) and in energy (€2,118). The economic activities with the lowest average wages were real estate activities (€1,050) and accommodation and food service activities (€860).

Average monthly gross wages and salaries by economic activity, 2010-2020. Source: Statistics Estonia

In the public sector, the average monthly gross wages and salaries rose by 2.5 percent in 2020 and reached €1,563. The corresponding increase in the private sector was 2.2 percent, with average wages amounting to €1,399 in 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were €1,515, 2.9 percent higher than in the same quarter in 2019.

More detailed data has been published in Statistics Estonia's statistical database. For more on wages and salaries, see here.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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