Average wage, salary growth accelerates in third quarter ({{commentsTotal}})

Euros. Image is illustrative
Euros. Image is illustrative Source: ERR

According to Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter of 2018 the average monthly gross wages and salaries of enterprises, institutions and organisations was €1,291, which is an increase of 7.5% compared to the same period of 2017. The year-on-year growth in average monthly gross wages and salaries was 1.1 percentage points faster than in the previous quarter.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries stood at €1,296 in July, €1,286 in August and €1,292 in September. Compared to the previous quarter, the average monthly gross wages and salaries decreased by 2.3%. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries remained at the same level as in the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter, irregular bonuses and premiums decreased by 41% per employee and were 9% higher than in the third quarter of 2017.

Irregular bonuses and premiums did not affect the year-on-year increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries also increased by 7.5%.

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased more slowly than the average monthly gross wages and salaries due to an increase in consumer prices. The year-on-year growth in real wages accelerated compared to the previous quarter, and real wages increased by 3.8% in the third quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages have been on the rise since the second half of 2011.

The average hourly gross wage was €7.51, remaining at the same level as in the previous quarter.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries continued to be highest in financial and insurance activities (€2,066) and in information and communication (2,181 euros). Compared to 2017, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in other service activities (incl. activities of organisations, repair of household goods, services), where they are among the lowest. The year-on-year growth in this economic activity is due to an increase in minimum wages as well as a change in Statistics Estonia's wage statistics methodology, according to which starting 2018 non-profit organisations with less than 50 employees are included as well.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries increased notably also in education. In addition to an increase in labour costs, the increase was also affected by the distribution of holiday pay between the second and third quarters. While in the third quarter of 2017 holiday pay accounted for 31% of the total amount of gross wages and salaries of the economic activity, in 2018 it accounted for 37%.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries increased across all economic activities, excluding administrative and support service activities, where the average monthly gross wages and salaries decreased by 3.1%. The increase was more modest in information and communication (3.4%), transportation and storage (4.1%) and real estate activities (4.1%).

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in state institutions and enterprises (€1,562) and in enterprises owned by foreign private entities (€1,533). The year-on-year increase in average monthly gross wages and salaries in the third quarter of 2018 was fastest in municipal and state institutions and enterprises.

In the third quarter of 2018, by county the average monthly gross wages and salaries were highest in Harjumaa (€1,435) and Tartumaa (€1,272) and lowest in Hiiumaa (€927) and Valgamaa (€968). Monthly gross wages and salaries increased in all counties. The year-on-year growth in average monthly gross wages and salaries was fastest in Põlva County and Saaremaa and slowest in Võru and Lääne-Viru County. Since the first quarter of 2018, data by county is presented based on the new administrative division of Estonia.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, in the third quarter of 2018 the number of employees converted to full-time units was 2.5% higher than in the third quarter of 2017, remaining at the same level as in the second quarter of 2018.

The biggest year-on-year increase in the number of employees in full-time units occurred in other service activities, arts, entertainment and recreation activities and in real estate activities. The change in these economic activities is largely due to the inclusion of non-profit organisations with less than 50 employees in the wages and salaries survey.

The average monthly labour cost per employee was €1,733, and the hourly labour cost €12.21. Compared to the third quarter of 2017, the average monthly labour cost per employee increased by 7.1%.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn



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