Average monthly gross wages in Estonia increased 7.4 percent on year to €1,201 in the third quarter of 2017, accelerating for the second quarter in a row.
The average monthly gross wages were €1,201 in July, €1,180 in August and €1,224 in September, according to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday. Compared to the previous quarter, the average monthly gross wages decreased 3.3 percent, primarily due to a decrease in irregular bonuses and premiums.
In the third quarter of 2017, irregular bonuses and premiums per employee were 25 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2016, and 28 percent lower than in the 2nd quarter of 2017. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased seven percent compared to the third quarter of 2016.
The average hourly gross wage totaled €7.22 in the third quarter of 2017, having decreased 3.7 percent compared to the previous quarter and increased 9.1 percent compared to the third quarter of the previous year.
Real wages, which take into account the impact of the change in the consumer price index (CPI), continued to increase more slowly compared to the third quarter of 2016 than average monthly gross wages due to an increase in consumer prices. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, real wages rose 3.7 percent, i.e. as much as in the previous quarter. Real wages have been increasing on year since the second half of 2011.
In the third quarter of 2017, the average monthly gross wages remained highest in information and communication as well as in financial and insurance activities, at €2,109 and €1,914, respectively. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, average monthly gross wages increased the most in mining and quarrying (12 percent), construction (12 percent), and in information and communication (12 percent). Over the course of a year, monthly gross wages and salaries increased in all economic activities except in agriculture, forestry and fishing, where monthly gross wages remained relatively constant compared to the third quarter of 2016.
In the third quarter of 2017, average monthly gross wages were the highest in foreign private sector enterprises (€1,428) and in state institutions and enterprises (€1,396). On-year growth in average monthly wages was likewise fastest in these enterprises and institutions at 8.9 and 9.1 percent, respectively. Monthly gross wages were lowest in local government organizations (€924), with an on-year increase of 8.5 percent, and in Estonian private sector enterprises (€1,110), with an on-year increase of 6.3 percent.
In the third quarter of 2017, by county, average monthly gross wages were highest in Harju and Tartu Counties, at €1,337 and €1,199, respectively, and lowest in Hiiu and Saare Counties, at €879 and €862, respectively. The fastest on-year growth of monthly wages was recorded in Rapla, Ida-Viru and Põlva Counties, at 14, 11 and 11 percent, respectively, while the slowest growth was seen in Saare, Hiiu and Lääne-Viru Counties, at one, two and three percent, respectively.
In the third quarter of 2017, average monthly labor costs per employee were €1,618, and hourly labor costs €11.42. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, average monthly labor costs per employee increased 7.3 percent.
Editor: Aili Vahtla