According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Thursday, average gross monthly wages and salaries increased 6.5 percent on year to €1,221 in 2017.
Annual average gross monthly wages and salaries increased in almost all economic activities, and were highest in the second and fourth quarters of last year.
While the annual increase in average gross monthly wages hit 7.6 percent in 2016, wage growth slowed down in 2017, dropping close to 2014 and 2015 levels, when the annual increase remained at around six percent. The annual increase last year was slowest in the first quarter, accelerating near year-end.
Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index (CPI), increased more slowly than average gross monthly wages compared to 2016 due to growing consumer prices. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, real wages rose by three percent. While real wages increased almost as fast as average gross monthly wages in 2016, growth in real wages decelerated in 2017.
Compared to the previous year, irregular bonuses and premiums per employee remained relatively stable in 2017, increasing 1.7 percent. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, average gross monthly wages increased 6.7 percent.
In 2017, average gross monthly wages remained highest in information and communication (€2,094) and in financial and insurance activities (€1,996), and lowest in other service activities, where average gross monthly wages were almost three times smaller.
The on-year increase in average gross monthly wages was the fastest in mining and quarrying (11.1 percent), information and communication (10.2 percent) and energy (9.1 percent). Average gross monthly wages increased in almost all economic activities, excluding agriculture, forestry and fishing, where average gross monthly wages remained close to 2016 levels (0.4 percent).
In the public sector, including state and municipal institutions and enterprises, average gross monthly wages amounted to €1,265 (on-year growth 7.9 percent), and in the private sector, including businesses owned by Estonian and foreign private entities, to €1,206 (on-year growth 6.1 percent).
In 2017, by county, average gross monthly wages remained highest in Harju (€1,353) and Tartu (€1,215) Counties and the lowest in Hiiu (€883) and Saare (€876) counties. The on-year growth in gross monthly wages was the fastest in Rapla, Ida-Viru and Võru counties. average gross monthly wages remained relatively constant compared to 2016 in Hiiu, Lääne and Saare counties.
According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, in 2017, compared to the previous year, the number of employees converted to full-time units increased four percent. The biggest on-year increase in the number of employees in full-time units occurred in real estate activities, administrative and support service activities, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and in information and communication. The economic activities that saw a decrease in the number of employees in 2017 include transportation and storage, professional, scientific and technical activities, and public administration and defence; compulsory social security. In 2017, compared to 2016, the number of employees converted to full-time units decreased in state institutions and enterprises (2 percent) and increased the most in enterprises owned by Estonian private entities (7 percent).
In 2017, average gross hourly wages were €7.40; compared to 2016, gross hourly wages increased 7.2 percent.
In 2017, the average monthly labor costs per employee totaled €1,648, while hourly labor costs totaled €10.99. Compared to 2016, the average monthly labor costs per employee increased 6.5 percent.
Editor: Aili Vahtla