Statistics Estonia adds gender info and projections to earnings app

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Statistics Estonia headquarters in Tallinnn. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

Data agency Statistics Estonia has made updates to their earnings application by adding more occupational groups, comparison of males' and females' monthly earnings, and earnings and pension projections to the application.

The application was upgraded keeping in mind the principle that ensuring equal opportunities is a social responsibility and a shared goal. Using reliable data, for example in salary negotiations, helps to decrease inequality in the whole society. In addition, increased awareness among employers is an important aspect in the fight against the pay gap. Current decisions have an impact on the future, including pensions, the agency announced via press release on Monday.

Statistics Estonia upgraded the app in cooperation with the Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology and the Social Insurance Board.

Kadri Rootalu, data scientist at Statistics Estonia, said that many occupational groups were added to the application as part of the upgrade. "The earnings of the new occupational groups can be viewed as an Estonian average or by county. Statistics for common jobs are available for more counties. In the case of less common occupations, the earnings statistics may be shown for only bigger counties," Rootalu said.

According to the data scientist, there are differences in the application compared to the previous version when it comes to determining occupational groups. The upgraded application is strictly based on the classification of occupations. "You can, for example, find out how your earnings compare with other people who have the same job, whether they are male or female. So a woman can get a clear idea whether her earnings can compete with men's earnings," added Rootalu.

The comparison of men's and women's earnings in different counties and jobs is a completely new and very importation addition to the application. It is still possible to find information on median earnings quickly and easily, but now the application includes a map of Estonia where the median earnings are shown for counties and occupations.

The cooperation also resulted in the earnings projection, which allows evaluating the probability that computers or robots replace people in a certain occupation in the future. In addition, the share of persons aged 55 and older is shown for occupations. This indicator can help to evaluate whether labor shortage may affect the job in the coming years.

Lastly, a pension projection can be found from the application. It provides a simplified calculation of what the average pension could be for men and women. The goal of the projection is to show that the difference in males' and females' earnings translates into a difference in pensions at the time of retirement.

The Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, Liisa Pakosta, said that on the basis of different studies, awareness has turned out to be of great help in decreasing gender pay gap. "We have tried the earnings application with men and women both in the city and in the country, with students as with employers, and people are either surprised about the gap being so wide or happy that in some profession the difference in earnings is small, which is normal. People really care about fair pay and this tool can help to achieve fairer results in the same job," Pakosta added.

The upgrade of the earnings application, which was completed as a cooperation project of several institutions, was supported from the European Union Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme

See the earnings application here.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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