Salary levels in Finland: revealing differences

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We’ve already discussed different aspects of salary levels in Finland in some of our previous blog posts. Today, Statistics Finland released new information about salaries in Finland based on information from 2019. This provides us with the opportunity to learn more about salaries in Finland. 

When we talk about monthly salaries in this blog, we talk about gross monthly earnings. That includes all regular parts of a monthly salary such as regular pay for normal working hours, overtime and extra time pay, compensation based on years of service, compensation for being on-call, benefits, and different types of other additions. These sums do not include one-off payments such as annual bonuses and the like.

These figures by Statistics Finland are based on the salary information of 1.4 million full-time employees and altogether 1.69 million full- and part-time employees in Finland in 2019. 

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Regional differences in salary levels in Finland

Statistics Finland’s new release informs us that salaries in Uusimaa are higher than elsewhere in the country. 

The median monthly salary for full-time employees in the whole country was 3 139 € in 2019. In Uusimaa, the median was 3 441 €. It was lowest in South Savo with 2 829 €/month. 

Salaries for those in the top 10% of full-time salary earners were clearly higher in Uusimaa than elsewhere in the country. The top 10% of salary earners in Uusimaa earned 6 000 € or more a month. Elsewhere, the top 10%, in turn, earned 4 747 € or more a month.

For the bottom 10 % of earners, however, there isn’t much difference between Uusimaa and other regions. The bottom 10 % of full-time earners in Uusimaa made 2 301 € or less a month. Elsewhere, the bottom 10% of full-time earners made 2 187 € or less a month.

Salary differences between the top and bottom earners in Uusimaa are larger than anywhere else in the country. 

In Uusimaa, the top 10 % made at least 2.6 times more than the bottom 10 %. Elsewhere, this difference varied. At its lowest, it was, for example, in South Savo. There, the top 10 % made two times more than the bottom 10 %. 

In Uusimaa (18.8 %) as well as elsewhere in the country (25.4 %), the biggest share of earners made 2 500 – 2 999 €/month. In Uusimaa, the second most common salary bracket was 3 000 – 3 499 (16.2 %). However, elsewhere it was the 2 000 – 2 499 €/month bracket (19.8. %). 

According to Statistics Finland, this difference is partly based on the type of jobs employees in these different areas of Finland are engaged in. In Uusimaa, there are relatively more professional jobs and these pay better. About 30 % of employees in Uusimaa have these types of jobs. Elsewhere, about 20 % of them have professional jobs. 

Also, the general education level is higher in Uusimaa than elsewhere. This also explains these differences to a certain extent. 

Variance in salary levels Finland within different industries

In one of our earlier blogs about Finnish salary levels, we looked at salaries in the most common jobs in the public and private sectors. We also briefly talked about salary differences between industries. Here, we’ll focus a bit more on variance within industries. Again, this examination is based on the Statistics Finland data release from today.

Statistics Finland tells us the largest variance in monthly earnings is in the finance and insurance industry. There the top 10 % of earners make 2.8 times more than the lowest 10 %. The median monthly earnings for the highest 10 % is 7 111 €/month while for the lowest 10 % it is 2 507 €/month.  

This type of intra-industry variance is lowest in the hospitality industry and in the health care and social services industry. In the hospitality industry, the top 10 % of earners make 1.7 times more than than the lowest 10 %. In the healthcare and social services industry, the top 10 % make 1.8 more than the lowest 10 %.

The Statistics Finland data also allows us to look at this intra-industry variance by gender. This examination illustrates again the way in which gender segregation in the Finnish job market influences particularly women and their earnings.

Intra-industry variance in salary levels in Finland: evidence of gender segregation

For example in the finance and insurance industry, the median monthly earnings for men were 2 703 €/month and for women, they were 2 459 €/month. The top 10 % of male earners in that industry made 8 492 €/month. The top 10 % of women earners made, in turn, only 5 920 €/month. 

The finance and insurance industry is a female-dominated industry. About 64 % of employees are women. They are, however, concentrated on the lower end of the wage scale. Women in the finance and insurance sector made 75.8 % of those in operational positions, 51.1 % of those in managerial positions, and 42.8 % of those in leadership positions.

In the health care and social services industry, the difference at the upper end is even more pronounced but the reason for this discrepancy is the same as in the financial and insurance industry. Women and men hold very different jobs within the industry.

In the healthcare and social services industry, the median monthly earnings of the highest 10 % of men earners were 7 062 € in 2019. The top 10 % of women earners, instead, made only 3 776 €/month. 

But if we look at specific parts of this industry in more detail, we get a more nuanced view.

For example, the top 10 % of men earners in residential care activities make 3 853 €/month. The top 10 % of women earners, in turn, make 3 756 €/month. A difference, yes, but only of about 2.5 % in favor of men. 

In hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes, the top 10 % of men earners make 9 027 €/month while the top 10 % of women earners make 4 487 €/month. A difference of just over 100 % in favor of men. 

This is because the majority of people working in this industry work in jobs that are at the lower end of the wage scale. And the majority of them are women. For example, in 2018 about 92 % of nurses were women. And their median monthly earnings in 2019 were 3 086 €.  

Learn more about the Finnish job market and about working in Finland

We offer different ways for you to learn about the Finnish job market. For one, our blog is a great source of free information. 

If you would like to, however, get into more detail about Finnish employment contracts or about the laws and regulations that govern Finnish working life, enroll in one of our self-guided online courses. You can find our whole course catalog here

We also offer more personalized help via our coaching and consulting services. Please visit our Inspiration Catalog for more information about those services. 

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The mission of Finnwards is to help internationals thrive in their life abroad. We provide coaching, consulting, and training services that help them do just that. Check out our Services for Businesses and Organizations or our Expat Inspiration Catalog for more information! While we serve internationals and their employers all over the world, our specialty is Finland. With our help, internationals can build a uniquely Finnish life for themselves and their family. In addition to the coaching, consulting and training services, we also offer a wide selection of self-guided online courses about Finland. Contact us and let us help you or your employees succeed in their professional and private lives abroad and in Finland.

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