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Money under the table

What’s a real salary in Estonia?

The Estonian Economic Research Institute completed a study showing the percentage of unregistered wages in the marketplace is 11%. In the construction industry, however, unregistered salaries are as high as 45%. The institute places the loss of taxes to state coffers at 2.2 billion EEK (141 MM euros).

According to the Estonian Statistics Bureau, the average monthly net wage in 2005 in the construction industry was 6,730 EEK (430 €). Double that, and you have a more accurate picture of the marketplace. City Paper’s own research shows that skilled construction labor easily averages over 20,000 EEK per month net, though this requires basic time- and money-management skills, which many do not possess.