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Average hourly wage in private sector just under 16 euros

Statistics Finland has released its yearly evaluation of hourly wage levels across dozens of professions. Stevedores win the prize for highest hourly wage in Finland, as they earned 21.5 euros for every 60 minutes of work in late 2016. The ranking only looks at hourly wages, not salaries and other forms of remuneration, so it only reveals part of the whole earned-income picture in the country.

Rakennustyöläinen tekee kivilaatoitusta ulos.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Hourly wage earners working in the private sector earned an average of 15.98 euros in the last quarter of 2016, according to new figures from the state-owned data cruncher Statistics Finland.

Senior officer Harri Nummila says that the hourly wage data is limited to information on hourly workers, as statistics on salaries are released separately. Statistics Finland also points out that managing directors, trainees, students and persons whose remuneration deviates from the norm are not included in the hourly wage statistics.

Be that as it is, the new data shows that the hourly wage went up by 1.1 percent when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Gender pay gap down slightly

The fresh statistics also indicate that the pay gap between men and women in terms of average hourly wages also went down slightly, and now stands at an even three euros. Men earned an average hourly wage of 16.49 euros in late 2016, while women earned 13.49.

This translates into 18 percent less pay on average for women, a phenomenon that can partially be explained by the different vocations women end up working in and the fact that more women work part-time then men.

Figures show that in the last quarter of 2016, women worked an average of 108 hours a month, while men worked 134. When it came to part-time work, approximately 11 percent of women worked less than 20 hours a month, while only 4 percent of men did the same.

Within the same occupation, the new Statistics Finland figures show that women earned an hourly wage eight percent smaller than men.

Over half make between 15 and 18 euros an hour

The most common hours worked in a month for both men and women was 150 to 160 hours a month, but men put in more overtime, as close to 8 percent reported working more than 180 hours a month.

The highest earners in the 2016 information were stevedores, who receive 21.5 euros per hour. The occupation with the lowest level of hourly pay was gardeners, who earned just 10.2 euros per hour.

Over half of the private sector hourly wage earners worked in occupations in which the average hourly wage was between 15 and 18 euros.

Cleaners see biggest increase

According to the regular earnings index, hourly wages paid by the private sector in Finland went up by 10 percent from 2010 to 2016. Office cleaners saw the best improvement in this time, with their average hourly wages improving by close to 18 percent. Even so, they come in at the bottom of the 2016 occupational ranking at an average pay rate of 11 euros per hour.

The professions that saw the slowest hourly wage development over this six year period were food industry processors and lorry drivers.

The statistics reflect data from about 322,000 wage earners, over 70 percent of which work in industry or construction.

The concept of regular hourly earnings at Statistics Finland includes paid hourly wages for regular work and any supplements that may apply for, for example, shift work, work on Sundays, overtime or dangerous work conditions. 

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