2.3.2024 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The index of wage and salary earnings describes the development of average earnings of full-time wage and salary earners for regular working hours. Taxes and employees' social security contributions have not been subtracted from the average earnings. The index of wages and salary earnings includes performance-based bonuses and agreement-based non-recurring items.

The statistics on the index of wage and salary earnings comprise four indices: the index of wage and salary earnings; the index of regular earnings; the index standardised with the main category of occupation; and the index of negotiated wages and salaries:
- the index of wage and salary earnings includes performance-based bonuses and non-recurring items based on collective agreements
- the index of regular earnings does not take into account performance-based bonuses and non-recurring items based on collective agreements
- the index standardised with the main category of occupation can be used to measure earnings development by eliminating the impact of changes in the occupational structure
- the index of negotiated wages and salaries estimates the impact of collective agreements on average wage costs.

Statistical population

The population of the index of wage and salary earnings is a full-time employee.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit of the index of wage and salary earnings is an employee.

Unit of measure

The index of wage and salary earnings describes the development of average earnings of full-time wage and salary earners for regular working hours. Changes in earnings are published in the following units: index point figure, annual change (%), quarterly change (%).

Average earnings data are published in EUR per month.

Base period

The base period of the index of wage and salary earnings is 2015=100. The index of wage and salary earnings is an annually chain-linked index, and its weight structure is updated annually. The calculation follows the Laspeyres index formula.

The data of the index of wage and salary earnings are published for the base years 1964=100, 1995=100, 2005=100, 2010=100 and 2015=100.

Reference period

The reference period for the index of wage and salary earnings is a quarter.

Reference area

The index of wage and salary earnings covers the private and public sectors, and geographically, the whole of Finland.

Sector coverage

The data of the index of wage and salary earnings are based on the wage and salary data collected from different employer sectors. There are four employer sectors: private, state, municipalities (incl. joint municipal authorities) and others.

For the state and municipalities, Statistics Finland's datasets of the statistics on wages and salaries are in use. In these sectors the datasets cover in practice the whole personnel.

The private sector is divided according to different types of wages and salaries datasets. The largest wage and salary datasets in the private sector are the wages and salaries of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). In addition to the EK data, the index of wage and salary earnings includes wage data from some smaller employers (e.g. the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the theatre industry). Statistics Finland’s own inquiry on wages and salaries is used to complement statistics on wages and salaries compiled by organised employers in those industries where the proportion of organised employers is lower than average, for example, on account of the high number of small firms.

The index of wage and salary earnings covers the data of some one million full-time wage and salary earners.

Time coverage

Index of wage and salary earnings 1964=100, 1995=100, 2005=100, 2010=100 and 2015=100: updated quarterly.

Index of regular earnings 2005=100, 2010=100 and 2015=100: updated quarterly.

Monthly earnings of wage and salary earners: updated quarterly.

Index standardised with the main category of occupation 2010=100, 2015=100: updated annually.

Frequency of dissemination

The index of wage and salary earnings and the index for regular earnings are published quarterly from two to eight weeks after the end of the quarter. The time lag is longer between the publications of the first and second quarters, because plenty of new wages and salaries data are completed then. Because the completion schedule of statistics on wages and salaries used as basic data for the index of wage and salary earnings is considerably slower, it is always necessary to make at least one estimate of average earnings for all series. In the series updated once a year, the time difference between the quarterly data to be published and the latest quarterly data that were updated based on actual earnings data can be up to one year. The data become revised over the year, and the final indices are published in connection with the release of the second-quarter data of the following year.

Concepts

Annual change

Annual change is the relative change of the index in comparison with the corresponding time period one year ago (e.g. annual change of total index of consumer prices, i.e. inflation).

Bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period

Bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period are such as performance-based bonuses, holiday bonus and holiday supplement and seniority increments paid in some hourly paid fields. Payment of one-off pay components can also be based on collectively bargained agreements.

Structural statistics on wages and salaries:
Holiday supplement paid for days off not taken is not included in these bonuscomponents in the structural statistics on wages and salaries.

Index of wage and salary earnings:
The index of wage and salary earnings measures the development of earnings from regular working hours regardless of the mode of payment. Components paid on the basis of performance are included in the earnings concept so that they are divided evenly over the whole calendar year. Similarly, bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period based on collective agreements are evenly divided for the whole year. All these components belonging to the concept of index of wage and salary earnings, such as holiday bonuses are not included in data on wages and salaries used in the calculation of the index, but they are taken into consideration in index calculation only in case changes in their relative share are agreed in collective bargaining. In the index of wage and salary earnings contractual pay increases paid retrospectively are also taken to the quarter when they were earned.

Labour cost survey:
In the concepts of the labour cost survey compensations for termination of an employment relationship belonging to bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period are included in social costs.

Labour cost index:
In the labour cost index bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period also include contractual pay increases paid retrospectively from previous pay periods. The labour cost index also contains incentive stock options according to their exercise value.
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Bonuses and allowances not paid in each pay period are not published in the statistics on private sector and local government wages and salaries. These components are not included in the index of regular earnings.

Chain index

In the chain index the comparison takes place always between successive calculation periods. In the chain index the change in two calculation periods is used to take forward the index point figure of the desired base period. In the chain index the weights are changed in principle in each calculation period.

At times the chain index is also mentioned in such cases where the comparison period is retained fixed in comparisons within the year, but the comparison period and the weight structure of the index is changed whenever the year changes.

Employer sector

Employer sector describes the structure of the labour market and is determined by the decision-making unit. The classification of employer sectors used in statistics on wages and salaries and in statistics on labour costs is a national adaptation of the Classification of Sectors that is used in economic and social statistics (Classification of Sectors 2000).

The classification used in statistics on wages and salaries has the following structure:

Local government sector
Operating units of municipalities and joint municipal boards, and municipal enterprises

Central government sector
Agencies and institution financed from the State budget

Private sector
Private enterprises, enterprises with central or local government majority holding and state enterprises. Non-profit corporations, parishes, and organisations and foundations are also included in the private sector in statistics on wages and salaries.

The structure of the classification of sectors used in statistics on labour costs and in the labour cost index is similar to that of the classification used in statistics on wages and salaries.

In the index of wage and salary earnings, non-profit corporations, parishes and organisations form a separate employer sector of their own (Others).

Hourly wage earner

The earnings of an hourly wage earner are mainly based on the hours actually worked. In addition, an hourly wage earner may have earnings for working time not worked. Compensation for hours worked and hours not worked can be paid several times a month. An hourly wage earner is usually a worker. The pay system is determined by the collective labour agreement.

Index

An index is a ratio describing the relative change in a variable (e.g. price, volume or value) compared to a certain base period (e.g. one year). The index point figure for each point in time tells what percentage the given examined variable is of its respective value or volume at the base point in time. The mean of the index point figures for the base period is 100.

Index formula

Index formula is a mathematical function by means of which an individual key figure describing change is calculated from observation values (e.g. Fischer, Laspeyres and Paasche index formulas).

Monthly wage earner

Monthly wage earners are remunerated for work performed on a monthly basis. Earnings are usually based on one month's working time and tend to stay the same from month to month. Monthly wage earners are normally salaried employees. The pay system is determined in the collective agreement.

Point figure

Point figure is a change quantity used in price indices, which expresses the price, average price or index of the comparison period relative to the price, average price or index of the base period. The point figure of the base period is usually denoted by the number hundred. For example, if the point figure for a commodity at a certain point in time is 105.3, it means that the price of that commodity has risen by 5.3 per cent from the base period.

Quarterly change

Quarterly change refers to the relative change in the index of the quarter compared with the index of the previous quarter. The change is usually expressed in percentages.

Weight structure

Describes what meaning each sub-index (commodity, employee group, etc.) belonging to the index has for total index.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

Sector-specific wage and salary data are used as source data for the index of wage and salary earnings. In the local and central government sectors, the data represent total data in practice. In the private sector, the data are obtained via enterprise surveys. Enterprises report data on their employees’ employment and earnings data. Thus, the accuracy of the statistics depends on the quality of their source data. Source data are verified and validated, and they are generally reliable. 

Timeliness

The index of wage and salary earnings is published quarterly, approximately two to eight weeks after the end of the quarter.

Punctuality

There is no delay in the publication of the data of the index of wage and salary earnings. The data are published on the days indicated in the release calendar.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

In principle, the data on the index of wage and salary earnings are comparable between Finland’s different regions and municipalities. However, it should be noted that since the data are based on a sample in the case of the private sector, which is not standardised at regional or local level, inaccuracies may occur between different regions.

Comparability - over time

Since 1975, the index of wage and salary earnings has been revised every five years. The more recent the index is, the more extensive the previous indices. The old indices have been chained with changes in the newest index.

Before the 2015=100 index, the weight structure of the index of wage and salary earnings was revised every five years to be calculated using the wage sum weights of the new base year. Since the 2015=100 index, the weights have been updated every year on the basis of the wage and salary sums of the previous year. At the same time, the weight structure of the old indices has been revised for each calculation year since 2015.

Coherence - cross domain

The index of wage and salary earnings is also part of the labour cost index (earnings and other extraordinary and non-recurring items are included in the labour cost index).

Coherence - internal

The data of the index of wage and salary earnings are internally coherent.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The data of the index of wage and salary earnings are compiled from the sector-specific source data. These sources include:
Central government – Palkeet, Tahti information system
Local government – Statistics Finland, inquiry on wages and salaries
For the central and local government sectors, the data represents total data in practice.

The private sector is divided according to the wage and salary data. The largest wage and salary datasets in the private sector are the wages and salaries of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). In addition to the EK data, the index of wage and salary earnings includes wage and salary data from some smaller employers. Statistics Finland’s own inquiry on wages and salaries is used to complement statistics on wages and salaries compiled by organised employers in those industries where the proportion of organised employers is lower than average, for example, on account of the high number of small firms.

The private sector data to be treated separately include:
Data from the industries of EK
Data from the services industries of EK
Automobile sector data
Automobile trade and workshop data
Real estate sector data
Statistics Finland’s own inquiry – services
Statistics Finland’s own inquiry – industries

Data from the non-profit sector include:
Monthly and hourly wages and salaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
Theatre industry data
Avainta data

Data collection

No separate data collection has been carried out for the purpose of the index of wage and salary earnings. See the quality description for the statistics on private sector monthly salaries, the statistics on private sector hourly salaries, or the statistics on local government sector wages and salaries.

Frequency of data collection

No separate data collection has been carried out for the purpose of the index of wage and salary earnings, but Statistics Finland’s annual statistics on wages and salaries are used.

Methods

Data compilation

In the index of wage and salary earnings, the data on wage and salary statistics are revised at the industry level. Possible structural changes are corrected by imputation of average earnings or number data.

Data validation

The index of wage and salary earnings uses data from sector-specific statistics on wages and salaries. Source data are validated, because they come from completed and published statistics.

For the index of wage and salary earnings, the data are also validated at the industry level. Possible structural changes are corrected by imputation of average earnings/number data.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Social Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.

Further information: Statistical legislation

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data.

Statistical experts

Jukka Tapio
Senior Statistician
029 551 3429

The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.

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