Wage expenditures
13. Jan 2021
Wage expenditures increased by 2.1% in 2020

DKK 10.3 billion was paid in wages last year. This is an increase of 2.1% on 2019 – the lowest increase since 2013, which had an increase of 1.3%.

The Covid-19 pandemic appears to have affected wage expenditures in 2020.

The annual figures for 2020 show that the wage expenditure growth has stagnated.


The graph below shows wage expenditures for both sexes. In 2020, 62.5% of wages were paid out to males and 37.5% to females. This distribution between the sexes is virtually unchanged from 2019.


The graph below shows wage expenditures in the four main industrial sectors. 64% of the total wages were paid in the private and public service sectors, 19.2% in the ‘fishery and other natural resources’ sector and 16.7% in the ‘construction and other manufacturing’ sector.

The ‘governmental and other services’ sector saw a 4.7% wage expenditure growth in 2020. In the previous two years, this growth was 5%. The ‘private services’ sector had no wage expenditure growth in 2020, having had a 5% growth in the previous two years. The ‘construction and other manufacturing’ sector saw a 5.4% increase in 2020, compared to a 12-15% growth in the previous three years. Wage expenditures in the ‘fishery and other natural resources’ sector decreased by 1.8% in 2020. The ‘fishery and other natural resources’ sector has seen more fluctuations in wage expenditures than the other three main industrial sectors. In 2019, there was a year-on-year growth of 8.6%, while there was a year-on-year decrease of 0.2% in 2018.


About wage expenditures

Wage expenditures are subject to tax at source and are paid by companies based in the Faroe Islands. The statistics only cover wages for work done. Other payments and expenditures such as grants and post-employment benefits are not included.

All wage expenditures meeting the above requirements are counted in regardless of the employee’s nationality.

About the trend

The trend describes the wage expenditure trend by adjusting for seasonal effects and error components in the figures.

About the main industrial sectors

Grouped under the ‘fishery and other natural resources’ sector are the following branches: agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, extraction of raw materials, fish processing and similar activities not elsewhere indicated.

The ‘construction and other manufacturing’ sector includes: shipyards/machine shops, other manufacturing, construction, and energy and water supply.

The ‘private services’ sector includes: trade and repair, hotels and restaurants, sea transport, other transport, postal services and communications, finance and insurance, business services. household services, organisations, culture, etc.

‘Governmental and other services’ include: public administration and services (central administration, municipalities, education, health and social work), government institutions and the Ministries of Education and Health.

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