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Wages and salaries improving at highest rate in five years

Statistics Finland says real earnings for the third quarter were up by 0.8 percent, as improvements in people's earnings outpaced the rise in consumer prices.

Nainen tutkii hyllyä ruokakaupassa.
Image: Hanna Othman / Yle

According to preliminary data from state-owned number cruncher Statistics Finland, nominal earnings of wage and salary earners rose by 2.2 percent in the private sector, and by 1.7 percent in the central and local government sectors from June to September, when compared to figures from the same period a year prior.

Nominal earnings are not adjusted for inflation. Wages and salaries that are adjusted for inflation are referred to as real earnings. Statistics Finland reports that real earnings for the third quarter of 2018 were also up by 0.8 percent on the previous year, as the rise in earnings outpaced the rise in consumer prices.

This latest improvement in nominal earnings is the best improvement Finland has seen in five years. The last time this kind of increase was recorded was in the July to September period of 2013.

Statistics Finland reports that nominal earnings started clearly improving already in the first quarter of 2018, as did real earnings. As recently as 2017, wage and salary improvements were close to zero throughout the year, leading to a drop in real earnings as consumer prices rose faster than wages and salaries.

Just over one-percent inflation

This year has also seen a more rapid rate of consumer price increases, as inflation has hung on at over one percent since the spring. Statistics Finland said on Monday that it had calculated inflation in September at 1.3 percent.

The state statistics organisation also made a preliminary evaluation of the average income in Finland for the third quarter. From July to September, the average monthly income of wage earners was 3,470 euros – or 70 euros more than one year earlier.

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