The employee remains in command
Data from Statistics Estonia show that the average gross monthly wage was up 8.2% over the year in the third quarter of 2019. The rapid growth in wages and the recently published estimates of employment and unemployment show that the labour market was strong in the third quarter. The strength of the labour market may indicate that weaker growth in Estonia’s trading partners affected the performance of Estonian companies less than forecast in the third quarter.
The growth in the average wage was pushed faster by the public sector and by private sector retail, which is a large employer. The weighted average wage in public administration, healthcare and education rose by 10.8%, while it was up by 7.4% in other segments. Having fallen for several years, the number of people working in the general government sector has started to rise in recent years. The average wage in retail rose by 8.9%, which is in line with indications that confidence remains high among employers in the sector. As around 15% of all jobs are in the sector, it has a notable impact on the rise in the average wage.