Index of wage and salary earnings: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
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.
Unit of measure
Average earnings data are published in EUR per month.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
Comparability - geographical
Comparability - over time
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
Coherence - internal
Source data and data collections
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
Frequency of data collection
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 unit
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)
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 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)
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
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