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Labour cost index

Producer: Statistics Finland
Main topic: Wages, Salaries and Labour Costs
Related topics: Labour Market
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


The labour cost index measures the quarterly change in average labour costs per hour worked. The statistics cover almost the whole private sector as well as the central government and local government sectors. Excluded from the statistics are agriculture, forestry and fishing. In addition to the actual labour cost index, the labour cost index includes three complementing indices: the index of wage costs, the index of social costs and the labour cost index without one-off and extraordinary cost components.

Data content

The labour cost index is formed from the separately calculated indices of wage costs and social costs. The index of wage costs covers all pay and bonuses paid in accordance with Section 13 of the preliminary tax withholding act. The index thus also includes costs incurred from benefits in kind and incentive stock options. The index of social costs covers the enterprise's all statutory and voluntary social insurance contributions. The change in them is measured on the basis of tariffs. Thus the time of payment or possible refunds of payments have no effect on the development of the index of social costs. One-off and extraordinary cost components include all those pay components not comprised in earnings paid for each pay period. Such components are typically performance-based bonuses, holiday bonus, holiday supplement, seniority increments paid in hourly paid fields not included in earnings for hours worked and costs raised by incentive stock options and contractual pay increases paid retrospectively from previous pay periods.

Classifications used

Standard Industrial Classification (TOL 2008).

Data collection methods and data sources

Since 2007, the basic data of the statistics for the private sector have been collected with a sample comprising more than 2,000 enterprises. Basic data on in-budget state employer offices have been received from the government since 2008. Data on the local government sector have been collected since 2008.

The inquiry concerns the whole paid personnel of the enterprise, government agency, municipality or joint municipal authority. The sampling frame was formed from Statistics Finland's Business Register. Enterprises employing at least 30 persons are generally selected to the frame. However, in industries (TOL 2008) dominated by small enterprises, such as construction (F), wholesale and retail trade (G), hotel and restaurant activities (I), real estate activities (L), professional, scientific and technical activities (M), and administrative and support services (N), enterprises employing at least 20 persons are included in the sample.

In the local government sector, data were collected in 2008 to 2010 in municipalities in the Helsinki region and from 2011 onwards from the biggest municipalities with over 50,000 population and from the largest joint municipal authorities. In 2012, the data collection was expanded to cover municipalities with over 5,000 inhabitants. Data on joint municipal authorities have been collected from all joint municipal authorities in education, health care and social work employing more than 800 persons since 2012.

Data collections

Updating frequency

The statistics are compiled quarterly.

Time of completion or release

Preliminary data on the labour force index are released 70 days from the end of the latest quarter. The results of the labour cost index are released as preliminary and the new indices can be revised, if needed.

Time series

The time series of the Labour Cost Index is available from 2007 for the private sector and from 2008 for the local and central government sectors. The base year of the time series is 2012 (2012=100).

The labour cost index 2008=100 has been calculated from 2007 onwards from private sector industries. For the central and local government sector, labour cost indices 2008=100 have been calculated since 2008. The index series for the local government sector of the base year 2008=100 were based on industry-specific data from the largest municipalities and joint municipal authorities.


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Contact information

Last updated 22.08.2018