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Statistics Finland: Wages not rising in line with inflation

Real earnings dropped by nearly five percent compared to early 2022.

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Yle News

Wages in Finland are still not keeping up with rising prices, but the decline in real earnings slowed during the first quarter of this year, according to preliminary data published on Friday by Statistics Finland.

During January-March, earnings fell by 4.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago, as consumer prices rose more quickly than wages did.

Compared to Q1 of last year, real earnings decreased by 0.8 percent, which is clearly less than they fell (by 1.8%) compared to the previous quarter, according to the number-crunching agency.

Last year's spike in consumer prices resulted in the most significant weakening of real earnings in more than 60 years, Statistics Finland reported. During Q4 of last year, real earnings fell by as much as 5.7 percent, year-on-year.

Citing preliminary data, the agency said Finland's earning level index rose by 3.2 percent during Q1 of 2023, compared to a year earlier.

"The index of wage and salary earnings measures the development in the average earnings of full-time wage and salary earners," Statistics Finland explained on its website.

Wage increases from recent collective bargaining agreements are not yet visible in the statistics, according to the agency. Instead, those pay hikes will be taken into account after they are paid to employees.

During Q1, the index of regular earnings rose by 2.3 percent, compared to a year ago.

Bonuses and other lump sum payments are also not included in the regular earnings index, resulting in a reflection of permanent changes to earning levels.

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