According to data released by Statistics Estonia on Thursday, the average gross monthly wage was €1,146 in 2016, representing a 7.6 percent increase compared to 2015 wages.
Per Statistics Estonia, annual average gross monthly wages increased in all economic activities last year, with wages being highest in the fourth quarter.
While the annual increase of average gross monthly wages remained at approximately 6 percent in 2014 and 2015, growth increased in 2016. Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased by almost as much as the average monthly wage increased — by 7.5 percent — compared to 2015 due to stable consumer prices.
Compared to the previous year, irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 20.4 percent per employee in 2016. These bonuses and premiums affected the year-over-year increase of average gross monthly wages and salaries by 0.4 percent.
In 2016, average gross monthly wages remained highest in information and the communication as well as financial and insurance sectors. The year-over-year increase in average gross monthly wages was fastest in administrative and support service activities (16.4 percent) and in real estate activities (14.3 percent). Above-average growth in wages and salaries was also recorded in agriculture, forestry and fishing (11.7 percent), informatin and communication (10.2 percent), accommodation and food service activities (9.5 percent), human health and social work activities (9 percent) as well as in education (7.7 percent).
The year-over-year growth of monthly gross wages and salaries was fastest in Estonia's private sector (8.9 percent) and slowest in state institutions (5.2 percent).
Highest wages in Harju, Tartu Counties
In 2016, by county, the average monthly gross wages and salaries continued to be highest in Harju (€1,271) and Tartu (€1,149 euros) Counties and lowest in Põlva (€864), Saare (€880) and Jõgeva (€884) Counties; the year-over-year growth of gross monthly wages was fastest in Lääne and Tartu Counties and slowest in Hiiu and Võru Counties.
According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, the number of employees converted to full-time units decreased in 2016 by 1.2 percent compared to the previous year. The biggest year-over-year decrease in the number of employees in full-time units, compared to 2015, occurred in other service activities, the real estate sector and in mining and quarrying. Economic activities that saw an increase in the number of employees in 2016 included financial and insurance activities, human health and social work activities, professional, scientific and technical activities and information and communication activities.
In 2016, average gross hourly wages €6.90; representing a 6-percent increase compared to 2015.
Average monthly labor costs per employee equaled €1,548 euros in 2016, with hourly labor costs being €10.28. Compared to 2015, average monthly labor costs per employee increased by 7.7 percent.
Fourth quarter of 2016
Average gross monthly wages in 2016 were highest in the fourth quarter, having increased by 7 percent year over year to €1,182. In the fourth quarter of last year, average gross hourly wages equaled €7.08, an increase of 6.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
In the fourth quarter of last year, average gross monthly wages were likewise highest in information and communication as wellas financial and insurance activities. Year-over-year, average gross monthly wages increased across all sectors, with the largest increase in average gross monthly income occurring in administrative and supprt service activities (15.5 percent), education (9.5 percent) as well as in real estate (9.3 percent). The annual increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries was slowest in professional, scientific and technical activities as well as in construction.
In the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period in 2015, irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 17 percent per employee. Such bonuses and premiums affected the year-over-year increase in average gross monthly wages for the quarter by 0.5 percent. Without counting these bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages increased by 6.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
Editor: Aili Vahtla