Estonia's gender pay gap narrowed again last year

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The protection money (Estonian: Katuseraha) component of the state budget has come in for some criticism, in particular from the Reform Party. Others say that it is simply the icing on the cake and not the main event (picture is illustrative). Source: (Marco Verch/Wikimedia Commons)

The gross hourly earnings of female employees in Estonia were 15.6 percent smaller than the earnings of male employees in 2020, and the gender pay gap decreased by 1.5 percentage points year on year, Statistics Estonia said on Wednesday.

In 2020, the gross hourly earnings of female employees totaled €7.70 and the gross hourly earnings of male employees €9.13. The gap was biggest in financial and insurance activities, 29.4 percent, followed by mining and quarrying, 26.1 percent, and information and communication, 24.1 percent.

As in 2019, transportation and storage was the only economic activity where women earned more than men.

Gender pay gap (%) by economic activity, 2019–2020. Source: Statistics Estonia.

Karina Valma, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, pointed out that the gender pay gap has decreased by 9.2 percentage points in Estonia since 2013.

"In 2020, compared to 2019, the wage gap decreased the most in construction and increased the most in accommodation and food service activities. The difference in men's and women's wages has never been so small in Estonia," Valma said.

The gender pay gap in Estonia, 1994-2020. Source: Statistics Estonia.

Note on the data

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of male and female employees, divided by the average gross hourly earnings of male employees, and is expressed as a percentage, Statistics Estonia said.

The average gross earnings, as used in the calculation of the gender pay gap, do not include irregular bonuses or premiums. The statistics are based on the questionnaire "Wage gap". Statistics Estonia analyses the data collected with the questionnaire for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Statistics Estonia and Eurostat use different methodologies to calculate the gender pay gap. The gender 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.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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