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Labour cost survey

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Wages, Salaries and Labour Costs
Related topics: Labour Market
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


The labour cost survey describes the level and structure of labour costs at fixed intervals of years. The statistics cover nearly the entire private sector, as well as the central and local government sectors. Excluded from the statistics are agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Labour costs refer to the costs incurred by employers from the employment of labour force. Besides wages and salaries, labour costs comprise employer’s social contributions and certain other cost items, such as those arising from occupational health care, recruitment and personnel training.

Data content

The level of labour costs is measured as costs per an hour worked, and the structure of labour costs as the proportions of labour costs items in total labour costs and as ratio of labour cost items to total wages and salaries, as well as to wages and salaries for hours worked.

Classifications used

Standard Industrial Classification TOL 2008

Data collection methods and data sources

The labour cost statistics are statistics derived from Statistics Finland's various statistics and other institutions' source data. The most important sources are the labour cost index and the structure of earnings statistics.

Most of the labour cost data in the statistics are obtained from enterprise-specific data and the local government sector’s municipality and industry-specific data included in the quarterly labour cost index. Enterprise-specific data have been supplemented with the data of the structure of earnings statistics, from which data have been acquired on small (dependent on the industry, under 20 or 30 wage and salary earners) enterprises missing from the labour cost index, as well as additional data on the enterprises in the labour cost index. All data concerning the central government sector have been received from the data based on the TAHTI register maintained by the State Treasury.

Data on the labour input of wage and salary earners of an enterprise are based on the enterprise-specific data of the labour cost index, and the unit-specific data of the labour cost survey and the structure of earnings statistics. An essential part in the calculation method of the labour input data is modelling of the structure of working hours (mutual shares of hours worked and absences) formed from the Labour Force Survey data. Modelling data are combined with the unit-specific data of the structure of earnings statistics.

Other data than those connected to the wages and salaries bill and labour input are obtained from Statistics Finland's other data and administrative registers. These data are social contributions, occupational health care costs, sickness allowances received by employers and other compensations and enterprises' training costs.

Data collections

Updating frequency

The labour cost survey is made every four years as part of the EU's research programme.

Time of completion or release

The survey is completed approximately 18 months from the end of the survey year.

Time series

Data are available as from 1996. The statistics were published for the first time concerning labour costs in 1996 and then comprised only part of the industries. Since the statistics concerning 2008, all em-ployer sectors have been included, that is, private enterprises with at least ten employees, as well as the local and central government sectors.


public sector, costs, wages and salaries, social security contributions, industries, labour costs, private sector

Contact information

Additional information

The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy has compiled statistics on labour costs from the late 1940s up to 1992 at four to five-year intervals, mainly relating to member enterprises of employer or-ganisations in the manufacturing industries. The Office for the Government as Employer has compiled labour cost statistics concerning the central government sector for the years 1990, 1996, 2000 and 2004. Statistics Finland has conducted labour cost surveys in the local government sector since 1990.

As of 1996, the survey has been included in the research programme concerning all EU Member States and from 2004 onwards, the survey contains all industries with the exception of agriculture, forestry and fishing (TOL A).

The publications for 1996, 2000 and 2004 also comprise data by personnel group (workers and salaried employees in processing industries and full-time and part-time employees in service industries) at the character level of industries (Labour costs in the private sector 1996, Wages and Salaries 1998:15; La-bour costs 1996. Comparison of sectors, Wages and Salaries 1999:6; Labour costs 2000. Private sector and comparison of sectors, Wages and Salaries 2002:17; Labour costs 2004, Wages, salaries and labour costs 2007).

Last updated 21.05.2015