Published: 6 November 2009

Gender pay gap narrowed in 2008

According to Statistics Finland's Structure of Earnings statistics, the gender pay gap narrowed last year when the total earnings of full-time wage and salary earners are compared between 2007 and 2008. While in 2007, women's average monthly earnings were 80.2 per cent of men's earnings; in 2008 the respective proportion was 80.8 per cent, in other words, the gender pay gap narrowed by 0.6 percentage points in one year.

The narrowing of the gender pay gap is explained both by a change in the structure of the wage and salary earning population and better development of women's than men's earnings in 2008. According to the Structure of Earnings statistics, women's average earnings rose by 5.8 per cent and men's by 4.9 per cent. Women's earnings rose faster than men's in all employer sectors. According to the index of regular earnings (SANI) calculated with fixed weights women's earnings rose by 0.4 per cent more than men's earnings in the examined time period, so some of the differential in earnings development observed in the Structure of Earnings statistics is explained by a change in the structure of employment. In the 2008 Structure of Earnings statistics, the changed structure of the wage and salary earning population shows as a reduced number of full-time wage and salary earning men in manufacturing, and as improved coverage of the private services and the local government sectors.

The average monthly earnings of all full-time wage and salary earners amounted to EUR 2,876 (median1 EUR 2,551) in the last quarter of 2008. In the central government sector the average earnings of wage and salary earners amounted to EUR 3,199 (median EUR 2,900), in the private sector to EUR 2,933 (median EUR 2,603 ) and in the local government sector to EUR 2,644 (median EUR 2,362). These differentials in earnings are caused by, among other things, structural differences related to the wage and salary earners and their tasks in the different employer sectors.

These data derive from Statistics Finland's Structure of Earnings statistics, which cover all employer sectors. Monthly earnings for total hours worked are only calculated for full-time wage and salary earners. Besides earnings for regular working hours, the earnings also include pay for any possible overtime and additional work but not one-off pay items.

Average monthly earnings of full-time wage and salary earners by employer sector and gender in 2007 and 2008

Employer sector Total earnings, EUR/month
Total Men Women
2008      
Total 2 876 3 185 2 575
Private sector 2 933 3 164 2 583
Local government sector 2 644 3 116 2 513
Central government sector 3 199 3 501 2 876
2007      
Total 2 734 3 035 2 433
Private sector 2 794 3 017 2 446
Local government sector 2 513 2 991 2 377
Central government sector 2 984 3 280 2 665

Share of full-time wage and salary earners of wage and salary earners in the age group by gender in 2008, per cent

Share of part-time wage and salary earners of wage and salary earners in the age group by gender in 2008, per cent

1 Fifty per cent of the wage and salary earners earn more, and fifty per cent earn less, than the median earnings

Source: Structure of Earnings 2008. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr. Antti Katainen +358 9 1734 2347, palkkarakenne@stat.fi

Director in charge: Kari Molnar


Last updated 6.11.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Structure of Earnings [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-0092. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.8.2014].
Access method: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/pra/2008/pra_2008_2009-11-06_tie_001_en.html.

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