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Earnings and pay refer to the remuneration (wages and salaries) provided directly by employers to employees in return for their supplied labour. Earnings are the same as pay; earnings representing the employee's perspective (supply) while pay represents the employer's viewpoint (demand).

Publications

Annual Population Survey, Scotland
Department: Scottish Government
A summary publication of results from the Annual Population Survey, presenting analysis on the labour market, education and training. Results are provided at Scotland and sub-Scotland levels.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
Department: Welsh Government
Comparing data for Wales with the rest of the country.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
Department: Office for National Statistics
Data on levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and hours worked for UK employees by sex and full-time/part-time status in all industries and occupations.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (Northern Ireland)
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Earnings statistics for Northern Ireland Employees.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (Northern Ireland)
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Earnings statistics for Northern Ireland Employees.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings Pension Tables
Department: Office for National Statistics
Data on types of workplace pension arrangements for UK employees by age, industry, public/private sector, occupation and size of company.
Average Earnings Index
Department: Office for National Statistics
Indicator of inflationary pressures emanating from the labour market, now superseded by Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) as the lead measure of short-term earnings growth.
Average Weekly Earnings
Department: Office for National Statistics
Indicator of short-term earnings growth providing monthly estimates of the level of average weekly earnings per employee. AWE replaced Average Earnings Index (AEI) in January 2010.
Earnings by qualification in the UK
Department: Office for National Statistics
Differences in the median hourly earnings of employees depending on their highest level of qualification. 1993 and 2010 data are compared.
Earnings in the UK over the past 25 years
Department: Office for National Statistics
The story will look at how pay has changed in the UK since 1986, comparing increases for the lowest and highest paid. It will look at changes since the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and also the impact of recessions over the period. It will also show the types of jobs that pay the most as well as differences across the regions of the UK.
Graduate Earnings Over the Last Decade
Department: Office for National Statistics
Earnings of graduates in the UK and the differences between graduate and non-graduate earnings and male and female earnings.
Graduates in the Labour Market
Department: Office for National Statistics
Graduate unemployment over the recent past and the wages of graduates in the UK.
Index of Labour Cost per Hour (experimental)
Department: Office for National Statistics
Measures changes in the average labour costs per hour worked. Also known as Labour Costs Index (LCI).
Index of Labour Costs per Hour (experimental)
Department: Office for National Statistics
Measures changes in the average labour costs per hour worked. Also known as Labour Costs Index (LCI).
Individual Income Series Reports (Northern Ireland)
Department: Social Development (Northern Ireland)
Information on weekly incomes by family type, source of income, age, marital status, and employment status.
Labour Costs Survey
Department: Office for National Statistics
Data on total staff employed, hours worked, hours paid and total labour costs for the UK broken down by industry, enterprise size and region.
Labour Market Statistics
Department: Office for National Statistics
Employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, claimant count, average earnings, labour productivity, vacancies and labour disputes statistics.
Lifetime Opportunities Monitoring Framework
Department: Office of the First and Deputy First Minister
This report presents a range of statistical targets and indicators in support of the Northern Ireland Executive’s anti poverty and social inclusion strategy ‘Lifetime Opportunities'. The monitoring framework is structured around 3 ‘layers’: • Child poverty targets • Poverty and social inclusion indicators • Public service agreement targets Analyses of statistics are on a lifecycle basis and are benchmarked against other jurisdictions when possible
Low Pay
Department: Office for National Statistics
Data on the lower end of the UK earnings distribution and the number of jobs paid below the national minimum wage by sex, age, occupation, industry and region.
Measuring Sexual Identity : Evaluation Report
Department: Office for National Statistics
This is an evaluation based on the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) experimental data, collected between April 2009 - March 2010.
Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Provides information on the value of the economic activity that businesses generate and associated expenditure across the main industrial sectors in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings: Summary of Pension Results
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
ASHE is a key source of information on workplace pensions in the UK as it collects information on all types of workplace pension: occupational pension schemes, group personal pensions and group stakeholder pensions. The survey results are used widely in order to analyse pension participation and to monitor the impact of pension reforms.
Northern Ireland Labour Market Report
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment, earnings).
Northern Ireland Labour Market Report
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Labour Market Statistics for Northern Ireland (employment, unemployment, earnings).
Patterns of Pay
Department: Office for National Statistics
Analysis of trends in levels, distribution and make-up of earnings over time for UK employees by sex, full-/part-time status, public/private sector and region.
Presentation of the Gender Pay Gap: ONS Position Paper
Department: Office for National Statistics
Paper proposing the ONS position on releases relating to treatment of the gender pay gap.
Public and Private Sector Earnings
Department: Office for National Statistics
This analysis looks at differences in average hourly earnings in the public and private sector from 2002-2010 using regression analysis, and considers the difficulties in making comparisons due to the differences between the two sectors
Regional Economic Indicators
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Regional Economic Indicators examine regional differences within the UK economy. These are discussed via an ongoing series of articles focusing on the measurement of economic performance, welfare, productivity and the drivers of productivity across the UK regions. As well as providing the latest analysis of the relevant data, the articles examine the issues surrounding measurement at the regional level, in particular seeking to clarify the indicators best suited for different uses.
Small Area Model-Based Income Estimates
Department: Office for National Statistics
Small area (Middle Layer Super Output Area) income estimates covering Middle Layer Super Output areas in England and Wales. The estimates are calculated using a model based method to produce four estimates of average weekly income. ONS is working to publish the 2011/12 small area income estimates at MSOA level in Autumn 2014. Following the release of the 2011/12 small area income estimates, ONS plans to produce and publish 2011/12 households in poverty estimates.
The labour market across the UK in the current recession
Department: Office for National Statistics
Article on the labour market across the UK in the current recession
Urban Rural Reports (Northern Ireland)
Department: Social Development (Northern Ireland)
Looks at data from the Family Resources Survey classified by urban/rural regions.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.

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Overview

Estimates of earnings and pay generally cover three main areas: basic pay, overtime and bonuses. Earnings exclude non-standard ways of being paid as a member of staff (for example, share offers in the company, benefits in kind, and compensation for expenses incurred for travelling and subsistence while carrying out the employer's business).


Earnings statistics can be classified into two categories:

  • structural statistics, and

  • short-term indicators


Structural statistics tend to be more detailed and are used to analyse trends in earnings over long periods. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and before it the New Earnings Survey, is the recommended source of employees' pay level. Data are published on an annual basis for the UK, and also broken down by industry, occupation, region, small area, gender and full-time/part-time status.


For estimates of short-term pay or earnings growth, the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) statistic is the source recommended by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), providing estimates of monthly and annual change for the main industrial sectors. AWE has recently replaced the Average Earnings Index (AEI) as the lead measure of short-term earnings growth.


ASHE data are published annually in October, using data from the previous April. AWE estimates appear monthly in the Labour Market Statistics First Releases. AEI will continue to be published a week later than AWE, up until September 2010, after which it will be discontinued.

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Technical Data

A family of indicators has been developed to provide a range of information for users about short-term changes in, and levels of, earnings:

  • the Average Weekly Earnings indicator, an accredited National Statistic and the new lead measure of short term earnings growth.

  • the Average Earnings Index, the previous lead measure of short term earnings growth, also a National Statistic

  • the Index of Labour Costs per Hour, an experimental statistic


Average Weekly Earnings was accredited a National Statistic in November 2009, and replaced AEI as the lead measure of short-term earnings growth in January 2010. It measures the changes in average weekly earnings of employees. The AWE is based solely on the Monthly Wages and Salary Survey (MWSS), which covers employees working in businesses with 20 or more employees in all industrial sectors in Great Britain (an adjutstment is made for smaller businesses).


As well as tracking changes in earnings, AWE makes an explicit estimate of earnings in pounds. Separate estimates are made of bonus and arrears pay. AWE uses employment weights that are recalculated every month. This means that AWE reflects the composition of the workforce at any given time, and that changes between months capture shifts in the workforce as well as changes in earnings within industries. These are both advantages over the outgoing AEI measure, and two of the main reasons for the switch between the measures.


The Average Earnings Index (AEI) is a well-established National Statistic, which until January 2010 was the lead measure of short-term earnings growth. It also measures changes in earnings, but unlike AWE, does not provide an estimate of actual earnings. It also does not capture the effect of changes in the composition of the workforce, as it is based on fixed employment weights that are updated annually.


AWE and AEI are used to produce figures for the economy as a whole, and by sector and industry. Both AWE and AEI use the number of employees on an employer's payroll as their denominator, so changes in the number of paid hours worked (assuming the pay rate per hour stays the same) will show as an increase or decrease in average earnings as appropriate.


The Index of Labour Costs per Hour (ILCH) is published quarterly and is available for both the UK and Great Britain. This is also an experimental statistic, developed to meet the European Union Regulation EC 450/2003. 


It is a more widely defined measure than AWE and AEI, going beyond wages and salaries to include non-wage costs such as employer National Insurance and pension contributions, sickness, maternity and paternity payments and benefits in kind, that are not considered by the other indicators. However, in terms of movements in the index, the inclusion of non-wage costs has a relatively small impact since they account for a small and relatively stable proportion of total pay.


The main difference in movements between the ILCH and the AWE is that the ILCH gives estimates per hour actually worked, whereas the AWE gives earnings per employee.


In terms of structural statistics, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is the main measure.  ASHE measures the average level and distribution of earnings and paid hours for employee jobs. Estimates are presented by a number of breakdowns including gender, occupation, industry and region.


The survey is a sample survey of employee jobs, although information is collected from employers. It is based on a one per cent random sample of jobs on the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Pay As You Earn (HMRC PAYE) register. It covers all employee jobs in all industries and occupations across the whole of the UK. It has a reference date in April, asking about individuals who are employees at that time. This reference date changes each year depending on when Easter falls.


For further technical information, please see the summary quality reports for ASHE and short-term earnings.

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Glossary

  • Allowance

    An allowance is an entitlement granted by the employer to an employee and intended to cover a specific expense, not work-related, incurred by the employee. It is often stipulated in workplace agreements and is normally paid at the time of entitlement.

  • Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)

    The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings is a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that provides information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and paid hours for employees in all industries and occupations. 

  • Average Earnings Index (AEI)

    The Average Earnings Index, dating back to 1990, is an indicator of how fast earnings, or pay, are growing in Great Britain. It measures how earnings in the latest month compare with those for the last base year when the index took the value of 100. It is based on information obtained from employers through the Monthly Wages and Salary Survey (MWSS) conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The AEI is to be discontinued after the September 2010 publication of data.

  • Average Weekly Earnings (AWE)

    Average Weekly Earnings is the lead monthly measure of average weekly earnings per employee. It is calculated using information based on the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey (MWSS), which samples 8,500 firms in Great Britain. It is produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and provides a key measure of inflation. It is replacing the Average Earnings Index, and sits alosngside the experimental Index of Labour Costs per Hour (ILCH).

  • Benefits in Kind

    These are benefits, excluding salaries, given to employees which include cars and car fuel, medical insurance and gifts, and which are taxed as employment income.

  • Bonus

    A bonus is a form of reward or recognition granted by an employer. When an employee receives a bonus payment, there is no expectation or assumption that the bonus will be used to cover any specific expense. The value and timing of a bonus payment can be at the discretion of the employer or stipulated in workplace agreements.

  • Compensation of employees

    Defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an employer to an employee in return for employers' social contributions, mainly consisting of employers' actual social contributions (excluding apprentices), employers' imputed social contributions (excluding apprentices) and employers' social contributions for apprentices

  • Earnings

    A measure of the money people receive in return for work done, gross of tax. It includes salaries and, unless otherwise stated, bonuses but not unearned income, benefits in kind or arrears of pay.  

  • Index of Labour Costs per Hour (ILCH)

    The Index of Labour Costs per Hour is an experimental quarterly measure to estimate the changes in the cost incurred for an hourly unit of labour provided by an employee to an employer. It is calculated using information based on the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey (MWSS), which samples 8,500 firms in Great Britain. It is produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and provides a key measure of inflation.

  • Labour Costs

    The sum of wages and salaries (pay) paid by an employer to an employee, plus any other costs incurred by the employer. As well as wages and salaries, total labour costs include employers’ social contributions (including National Insurance, contributions and pensions, paid on behalf of the employee) and other non-wage costs including sickness, maternity and paternity costs, vocational training costs, recruitment costs and benefits in kind.

  • Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey (MWSS)

    A survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which collects information on wages and salaries. The survey is distributed monthly to over 8,800 businesses covering some 12.8 million employees.  

  • PAYE

    Pay As You Earn. A system under which income tax is collected as wages are earned.

  • Remuneration

    Remunerationis pay or salary, typically monetary payment for services rendered, as in employment.

  • Salary

    A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract.

  • Wage

    A wage is a compensation workers receive in exchange for their labour.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Labour Market Statistics Team

Email: earnings@ons.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 456120

Labour Market Statistics Team Office for National Statistics Government Buildings Cardiff Road Newport NP10 8XG

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