Estonian survey: Gross salary of at least €1,756 needed for coping

According to the results of a recent survey by the salary information agency Palgainfo Agentuur and job portal, the ability to cope in Estonia requires a gross salary of at least €1,756, almost €250 more than a year earlier – and almost half of employees said their ability to cope had deteriorated in the past year.

“While over the preceding eight years, the ability to cope improved year after year, this trend has now changed – the share of people who are coping well or very well has dropped and the share of people who are coping poorly has increased,” Kadri Seeder, the manager of Palgainfo Agentuur, said in a statement.

“Almost half of the workers, or 49 per cent, said their coping has deteriorated compared with last year and the change in the trend was already observed in fall 2021. The deterioration in the ability to cope is probably caused by the rapid price increase which salaries have not been able to keep up with.”

A salary of over €2,500 needed to cope well

Workers who assessed their ability to cope as average earned a gross monthly salary of €1,756. People who reported they were coping well earned a gross salary of over €2,500. Respondents who said their ability to cope was poor earned an average gross salary of €1,400. The amounts of money needed for coping have been growing year after year. 

Assessments of coping depend on respondents’ expectations to their quality of life and vary to a great degree when broken down by profession – while customer service clerks deem it possible to cope on a €1,177 gross salary, project managers need more than twice as much. Mid-level specialist said a €1,797 gross salary is sufficient for coping, equipment and machine operators set their bar at €1,634, drivers at €1,609, office clerks at €1,536, skilled workers at €1,535 and unskilled workers at €1,191.

An Estonian industrial worker. Photo by Ken Oja.

Grete Adler, head of the recruitment department of CVKeskus, said that, according to the survey results, nine workers out of ten would be willing to change jobs for a better salary, however, generally a 21 per cent higher salary offer is needed for it.

Some 38 per cent of the participants in the survey said they would also change jobs for better working conditions and benefits even if their salary remained unchanged.

The survey was conducted in late fall 2022 among close to 9,200 respondents.

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