Helsinki (31.10.2012 - Juhani Artto) In the last quarter of 2011, the average monthly pay was EUR 3111*. In the space of one year it had increased by EUR 68. During the year prior to that the increase was EUR 66. In the period from 2002 to 2011 these two figures (EUR 68 and EUR 66) were the smallest one-year rises of the average nominal pay. The highest increases were recorded from the last quarter of 2007 to the last quarter of 2008 (EUR 142) and in the following year (EUR 101) and in the preceding year (EUR 100). In the period from 2002 to 2006 the figures expressing the annual rise of the average nominal pay varied from EUR 79 to EUR 96. What is remarkable in these statistical figures is that, on average, nominal wages and salaries kept growing during the deep slump, experienced in 2008-2009.

In 2009 GDP or gross domestic product decreased by 8.5 per cent. The recession was already underway by autumn 2008 reducing the 2008 GDP growth to a miniscule 0.3 per cent.

In all other years in the period from 2002 to 2011 GDP grew annually at anything from 1.8 per cent to 5.3 per cent allowing for the favourable development of average wages and salaries. Also, significant increases in productivity laid the basis for pay rises. Yet one may well ask why average nominal wages and salaries also rose when there was an abrupt fall in GDP and why furthermore during the period when the crisis was at its most severe wages and salaries showed the most marked increases.

More than anything else, it was the collective agreements - signed prior to the economic slump and covering a large majority of the wage and salary earners - that kept nominal wages and salaries growing despite the economic recession. The 2002-2011 statistics on the changes in the pay, GDP and consumer prices are summarized in the following table.

 

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

2011

3111

66

2.7

3.4

2010

3043

68

3.3

1.2

2009

2977

101

-8.5

0.0

2008

2876

142

0.3

4.1

2007

2734

100

5.3

2.5

2006

2634

79

4.4

1.6

2005

2555

96

2.9

0.9

2004

2459

87

4.1

0.2

2003

2372

85

2.0

0.9

2002

2287

 

1.8

1.6

(1) Average nominal pay in the last quarter of the year (EUR)
(2) Annual change in the average nominal pay (EUR)
(3) Annual change in the volume of GDP (%)
(4) Annual change in the consumer price index

The statistics are formulated by calculating the nominal wages and salaries of full-time employees, and inclusive of overtime and working hour supplements but exclusive of one-off performance-based bonuses.

Source: Statistics Finland, Wages, salaries and labour costs