United Kingdom - Personal Income

United Kingdom: Personal Income

Mnemonic YP.IGBR
Unit GBP
Annual 2.28 %
Data 2015 22,400
2014 21,900

Series Information

Source U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Release (ASHE) Regional Annual Earnings and Jobs by Industry
Frequency Annual
Start Date 12/31/1997
End Date 12/31/2015

United Kingdom: Consumer

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Confidence Mar 2020 -8.2 -6.2 SA Monthly
Real Retail Sales Feb 2020 114.1 114.7 Index 2016=100, SA Monthly
Retail Sales Feb 2020 114.1 114.7 Index 2016=100, SA Monthly
Personal Income 2015 22,400 21,900 GBP Annual

Release Information

This bulletin presents analyses from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is the most detailed and comprehensive source of earnings information. ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs, drawn from HM Revenue and Customs Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records. Throughout this bulletin, the terms jobs and employees are used interchangeably.

ASHE is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the UK. It provides information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and hours paid for employees by sex and full-time and part-time working. Estimates are available for various breakdowns, including industries, occupations, geographies and age groups. ASHE is used to produce hours and earnings statistics for a range of weekly, annual and hourly measures.

Our headline measure of earnings from ASHE is median weekly earnings for full-time employees. This measure is the main focus of this release, but discussion of mean earnings, hourly earnings, annual earnings and earnings for part-time employees is also included for comparison. Figures are presented in terms of gross pay (that is, before tax, National Insurance and other deductions) in current prices, unless otherwise stated.

Important points about ASHE dataset:

  • ASHE provides a snapshot of earnings information in the UK at the survey reference date in April each year.
  • Various breakdowns of ASHE estimates are available, including industries, occupations, geographies and age groups.
  • ASHE analyses for weekly and hourly earnings relate to employees on adult rates whose earnings for the survey pay period were not affected by absence.
  • ASHE analyses for annual earnings relate to employees on adult rates of pay who have been in the same job for more than 1 year.
  • ASHE does not cover the self-employed or employees not paid during the reference period.
  • The quality of some estimates at low levels of disaggregation can be poor and these domains are more susceptible to larger revisions.
  • Changes to ASHE methodology resulted in breaks in the series in 2004, 2006 and 2011.
  • ASHE is not directly comparable with the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) or the Labour Force Survey (LFS), details can be found under the coherence and comparability section in the QMI.

There are several methods of calculating an average; for this dataset we focus on the median, that is the data value at which 50% of data values are above it and 50% of data values are below it.

The source uses the median because the distribution of earnings is skewed, with more people earning lower salaries than higher salaries. When using the mean to calculate the average of a skewed distribution, it is highly influenced by those values at the upper end of the distribution and thus may not be truly representative of the average earnings of a typical person. By taking the middle value of the data after sorting in ascending order, the median avoids this issue and is consequently considered a better indicator of typical “average” earnings.

ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records. Information on earnings and hours is obtained from employers and treated confidentially. ASHE is the official source of estimates for the number of jobs paid below the National Minimum Wage. ASHE is also used to produce estimates of the proportion of jobs within each workplace pension category.

Given the survey reference date in April, the survey does not fully cover certain types of seasonal work, for example employees taken on for only summer or winter work.

The ASHE was developed to replace the New Earnings Survey (NES) in 2004. This included improvements to the coverage of employees, imputation for item non-response and the weighting of earnings estimates.

2007 results take account of a small number of methodological changes which will improve the quality of results. These include changes to the sample design itself, as well as the introduction of an automatic occupation coding tool, ACTR. Therefore these results are only continuous with the 2006 results that have been produced using this methodology and are discontinuous with results from previous years.

In addition to the changes noted above; the sample size of the 2007 ASHE has been reduced by almost 20 per cent. ASHE results for 2007 are based on approximately 142,000 returns, down from 175,000 in 2006. The impact of this change has been minimized by reducing the sample in an optimal way, with the largest sample reductions occurring in industries where earnings are least variable. The sample cut did not affect Northern Ireland.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours