According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Monday morning, the average gross hourly earnings of female employees were 20.9 percent lower than the average gross hourly earnings of male employees. Following three years of decline, the gender pay gap last year remained at the same level on year.
In October 2017, the average gross hourly earnings exclusive of irregular bonuses and premiums were €6.26 for female employees and €7.91 for male employees. Compared to 2016, gross hourly earnings increased 3.7 percent for both female and male employees. While in 2014-2016, the gross hourly earnings of female employees rose faster than the gross hourly earnings of male employees, which is the main reason for the decrease in the pay gap, which is the difference between the hourly earnings of male and female employees, in 2017, the rise in the gross hourly earnings was equal.
Last year, the gender pay gap was largest in financial and insurance activities (38.2 percent), where the gross hourly earnings of male employees rose (7.3 percent) compared to a year earlier, while the gross hourly earnings of female employees remained relatively constant (decreased 1.1 percent).
After financial and insurance activities, the next biggest pay gaps were recorded in mining and quarrying (31.1 percent), wholesale and retail trade (28.1 percent), manufacturing (28.0 percent) and human health and social work activities (27.9 percent). The difference between the gross hourly earnings of male and female employees was the smallest in water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (5.9 percent), transportation and storage (5.1 percent) and other service activities (1.1 percent).
Compared to 2016, the gender pay gap increased the most in financial and insurance activities (5.2 percent), transportation and storage (5.1 percent) and professional, scientific and technical activities (4.2 percent) and decreased the most in other service activities (6.7 percent) and in arts, entertainment and recreation (6.6 percent). In the past five years, the gender pay gap has decreased the most in other service activities and in education and increased the most in human health and social work activities.
Categorized by type of ownership, the pay gap in institutions and enterprises owned by the state and municipalities was smaller than in enterprises owned by Estonian or foreign private entities; this was the case in previous years as well. In 2017, the pay gap in state institutions and enterprises was 18.4 percent and in municipal institutions and enterprises 12.2 percent, while the pay gap in the enterprises owned by private Estonian entities was 19.2 percent and in the enterprises owned by private foreign entities 30.8 percent.
The pay gap in the public sector (state and municipal institutions and enterprises) and private sector (enterprises owned by Estonian and foreign private entities) was almost identical — 22.4 and 22 percent, respectively.
In 2017, the pay gap was the biggest in Ida-Viru County (27.9 percent), followed by Järva (25.6 percent), Hiiu (25.3 percent) and Võru (24.0 percent) Counties; the smallest gaps were recorded in Saare (11.3 percent), Põlva (12.9 percent), Lääne-Viru (14.3) and Rapla (15.0 percent) Counties.
Editor: Aili Vahtla