According to the information released by Statistics Estonia on November 27, in the third quarter of 2019 the average gross monthly wages stood at EUR 1,397, up by 8.2% YoY. Average hourly wages, meanwhile, increased by 7%, to EUR 8.01.
Average gross monthly earnings totaled EUR 1,435 in July, EUR 1,365 in August and EUR 1,389 in September. Compared to the second quarter, gross earnings decreased by 1.6% due primarily to a 38% decrease in irregular bonuses and premiums. On year, however, irregular bonuses and premiums increased by 9%.
Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index (CPI), increased by 5.8%. This increase was slower than in the case of average gross monthly wages and salaries as a result of an increase in consumer prices.
By area of economic activity, average gross monthly wages and salaries were highest in information and communication (EUR 2,360), financial and insurance activities (EUR 2,257) and energy (EUR 1,858).
Average earnings increased the most in other service activities (including activities of organizations, household goods repair, beauty treatments), where they had been among the lowest. Average gross monthly wages and salaries decreased, meanwhile, in mining and quarrying, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities.
In the third quarter average gross monthly wages and salaries were highest at state institutions and businesses (EUR 1,723) and at businesses owned by foreign private entities (EUR 1,650). The fastest on-year increase was recorded at state institutions and businesses (10.3%); the slowest, meanwhile, was recorded at businesses owned by Estonian (7.5%) and foreign private entities (7.6%).
By county, average gross monthly wages were the highest in Harju County (EUR 1,519) and Tartu County (EUR 1,408), and the lowest in Saare County (EUR 1,081), Valga County (EUR 1,066) and Hiiu County (EUR 1,008). On-year growth in average earnings was the fastest in Polva County (17.4%), Laane County (16.2%) and Parnu County (13.5%).
In the third quarter average monthly labor costs per employee totaled EUR 1,870, up by 7.9%. (ERR/Business World Magazine)