The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs. This is drawn from HM Revenue and Customs Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records. ASHE collects information on the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and hours paid. Results are produced for various industrial, occupational and geographic breakdowns, as well as by public and private sectors and age groups.
This bulletin contains provisional estimates from the 2012 survey and revised estimates from the 2011 survey. Unless otherwise stated, all figures in this bulletin relate to employees on adult rates whose earnings for the survey pay period were not affected by absence.
In April 2012 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were £506, up 1.5% from £498 in 2011.
Men’s median full-time weekly earnings increased by 1.4% to £546 between 2011 and 2012, compared with an increase of 1.9% for women to £449.
Part-time median weekly earnings were £155 in April 2012, up 1.3% from 2011. For women, part-time weekly earnings were £158, compared with £146 for men.
The median gross weekly earnings for all employee jobs (full-time and part-time) were £405, an increase of 1.3% from 2011.
For the tax year ending 5 April 2012 the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees on adult rates who had been in the same job for at least 12 months (including those whose pay was affected by absence) were £26,500. This was an increase of 1.4% compared with £26,100 in the year ending 5 April 2011.
The median gross annual earnings for men were £28,700, up 1.2% from 2011, and for women were £23,100, up 2.0%.
Excluding overtime, median gross hourly earnings of full-time employees were £12.76 per hour in April 2012, up 1.6% on 2011. The median hourly earnings of men increased by 1.1% compared with an increase of 2.2% for women.
The earnings of women relative to men vary according to whether an employee works full-time or part-time. Median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of part-time employees were 37.2% less than the earnings of full-time employees in April 2012. At the same time, the Labour Force Survey shows that the UK workforce consisted of approximately 12.7 million males (51% of the employee workforce) and 12.3 million females (49% of the workforce).
There is a difference in the proportion of male and female employees who worked full- and part-time. For male employees, 88% worked full-time and 12% worked part-time, while the comparable figures for female employees were 58% and 42% respectively. This highlights the fact that more women work part-time than men and consequently they are more likely to receive lower hourly rates of pay.
|Men||% of total||Women||% of total||All||% of total|
In April 2012 men’s median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) grew by 1.1% to £13.27, up from £13.12 in 2011. In comparison, women’s hourly earnings were £12.00, a 2.2% increase compared with £11.75 in 2011. The gender pay gap (i.e. the difference between men's and women's hourly earnings as a percentage of men's earnings) for full-time employees therefore decreased to 9.6% from 10.5% in 2011.
For part-time employees, men’s median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £7.72 in April 2012, up 1.0% from £7.64 in 2011. In comparison, women’s hourly earnings were £8.12, an increase of 1.2% from £8.03. The gender pay difference for part-time employees was therefore in the opposite direction to that of full-time employees, widening slightly to -5.2%, compared with -5.1% in 2011.
In April 2012 the gender pay gap based on median hourly earnings for all employees (full-time and part-time) decreased to 19.7% from 20.2% in 2011.
|Men||Women||Pay gap %|
Although ONS’s headline estimates of gender pay differences are based on median hourly earnings (excluding overtime), mean hourly earnings provide a useful supplementary measure.
Men’s mean gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £16.50 in April 2012, up 0.4% from £16.43 in 2011. Women’s mean hourly earnings increased by 1.7% to £14.05 compared with £13.82 in 2011. This means that the gender pay difference for full-time employees narrowed to 14.9% from 15.9% in 2011.
For part-time employees, men’s mean hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £11.71, down from £11.88 in 2011, compared with women’s hourly earnings of £10.79, up from £10.70. The gender pay gap for part-time employees has therefore narrowed to 7.9%, from 9.9% in 2011. This is in contrast to the pay gap for median earnings, which is in the opposite direction. The reason for this is that there are a larger number of men than women who are working part-time with high earnings, which skews the distribution and increases the mean relative to the median.
The gender pay difference based on the mean for all employees has decreased to 18.6% in 2012 from 19.6% in 2011.
|Men||Women||Pay gap %|
Between 2011 and 2012 the hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for full-time employees in the bottom decile grew by 2.3%, compared with a decrease of 0.2% for the top decile. The comparable figures for part-time employees were an increase of 2.5% and a decrease of 1.1% respectively.
In 2012 10% of full-time employees earned less than £7.16 per hour, while 10% earned more than £26.56 per hour.
The hourly earnings for the top decile of full-time employees were 208% of the median while the hourly earnings of the bottom decile were 56% of the median.
|Men||10% earned less than||7.38||6.08||6.75|
|50% earned less than||13.27||7.72||12.50|
|10% earned more than||28.85||22.83||28.23|
|Women||10% earned less than||6.92||6.08||6.25|
|50% earned less than||12.00||8.12||10.04|
|10% earned more than||23.37||18.81||21.75|
|All||10% earned less than||7.16||6.08||6.44|
|50% earned less than||12.76||8.01||11.21|
|10% earned more than||26.56||19.71||24.95|
In April 2012 the gender pay gap for full-time employees in the top decile, at 19.0%, was larger than those for the median and bottom decile.
For part-time employees, there was no gender pay gap for the bottom decile, a gap of -5.2% for the median (i.e. women’s earnings were higher than men’s), and a gap of 17.6% for the top decile.
For all employees (full-time and part-time), the gender pay difference was smallest in the bottom decile, at 7.3%, and largest in the top decile, at 22.9%.
The median gross weekly pay of full-time employees in the public sector was £565 in 2012, up 1.6% from £556 in 2011. For the private sector the comparable figure was £479, up 1.5% from £472 in 2011.
The compositions of the public and private sectors are different. Consequently differences in gross weekly earnings do not reveal differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. For example, many of the lowest paid occupations, such as bar and restaurant staff, hairdressers, elementary sales occupations and cashiers, exist primarily in the private sector, while there are a larger proportion of graduate-level and professional occupations in the public sector.
|Public sector||Private sector|
In April 2012 the distribution of median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees showed that earnings were highest for the 40 to 49-year-old age group, at £573. Median gross weekly earnings increased until employees reached this age band and steadily decreased thereafter.
There were some differences between the distribution of earnings by age for men and women. Men’s median weekly earnings were highest in the 40 to 49-year-old age group, at £622, whereas women’s earnings were highest in the 30 to 39-year-old age group, at £527.
|Age group||Men||% change from 2011||Women||% change from 2011||All||% change from 2011|
In April 2012 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were highest in London, at £653 (29% higher than the national median), and lowest in Wales, at £453 (11% lower than the national median).
The regional earnings distribution differed by sex. While weekly earnings were highest in London for both sexes, earnings for men were lowest in Northern Ireland, at £479, and for women they were lowest in the East Midlands, at £402.
|Region||Men||% change from 2011||Women||% change from 2011||All||% change from 2011|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||501.7||0.7||412.0||2.3||464.7||0.9|
In April 2012 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were highest for Managers and Senior Officials, at £738 (46% higher than the median for all employees), and lowest for Sales and Customer Service occupations, at £323 (36% lower than the median for all employees).
|Major occupation group||Men||Women||All|
|1 - Managers, directors and senior officials||797.9||625.4||738.4|
|2 - Professional occupations||739.8||653.3||694.3|
|3 - Associate professional and technical occupations||617.5||516.5||575.0|
|4 - Administrative and secretarial occupations||431.0||381.5||393.1|
|5 - Skilled trades occupations||476.6||346.4||465.7|
|6 - Caring, leisure and other service occupations||371.5||322.5||332.7|
|7 - Sales and customer service occupations||338.0||309.1||323.3|
|8 - Process, plant and machine operatives||441.3||310.9||426.4|
|9 - Elementary occupations||354.0||279.0||333.0|
Again, there were some differences in the distribution of earnings for men and women. The highest and lowest earnings by major occupation group for men mirrored that of the overall distribution. However, for women, weekly earnings were highest in Professional occupations, at £653, and lowest in Elementary occupations, at £279.
Additional payments (i.e. overtime, bonuses, commission and shift pay) accounted for 5.1% of mean full-time gross weekly earnings in April 2012. For male employees additional earnings accounted for 6.1% of mean total weekly earnings compared with 3.1% for women.
|Gross pay||Overtime||Bonuses or commission||Shift, etc.||Component subtotal|
In April 2012 full-time employees worked a mean average of 39.1 paid hours per week (including overtime). In comparison, part-time employees worked 18.1 hours per week.
For full-timers, men’s weekly paid hours have decreased by 0.1 hours since April 2011 and women’s paid hours have remained the same. For part-time men there was a 0.1 hour increase in mean weekly paid hours and for women, again, there was no change.
The proportion of full-time employees working paid overtime in April 2012 was 18.6%, up 0.2 percentage points from 2011. Full-time employees worked a mean average of 1.1 paid overtime hours per week in 2012. The percentage of full-time men who worked paid overtime has risen from 22.7% to 22.9% between 2011 and 2012. There has also been an increase for full-time women over the same period, from 11.7% to 12.0%.
|Full-time||% who worked overtime||Part-time||% who worked overtime|
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs PAYE records. Information on earnings and hours is obtained from employers and treated confidentially. ASHE does not cover the self-employed nor does it cover employees not paid during the reference period. In 2012 information related to the pay period which included 18 April.
This bulletin contains provisional results from the 2012 survey and revised results from the 2011 survey. More detailed information is available on the ONS website.
Basic quality information
Link to Summary Quality Report
A Summary Quality Report for ASHE can be found on the ONS website by searching for 'quality reports for business statistics'. This report describes, in detail, the intended uses of the statistics presented in this publication, their general quality and the methods used to produce them.
Common pitfalls in interpreting the series
The headline statistics for ASHE are based on the median rather than the mean. The median is the value below which 50% of employees fall. It is ONS's preferred measure of average earnings as it is less affected by a relatively small number of very high earners and the skewed distribution of earnings. It therefore gives a better indication of typical pay than the mean.
Various methods can be used to measure the earnings of women relative to men. ONS's headline estimates of the gender pay gap are for hourly earnings excluding overtime. Including overtime can distort the picture as men work relatively more overtime than women. Although median and mean hourly pay excluding overtime provide useful comparisons of men’s and women’s earnings, they do not reveal differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. This is because such measures do not allow for the different employment characteristics of men and women, such as the proportion in different occupations and their length of time in jobs.
In March 2012 the 2011 ASHE estimates were published on a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010 basis (they had previously been published on a SOC 2000 basis). Since the SOC forms part of the methodology by which ASHE data are weighted to produce estimates for the UK, this release marked the start of a new time series and therefore care should be taken when making comparisons with earlier years.
The earnings information presented relates to gross pay before tax, National Insurance or other deductions, and excludes payments in kind. With the exception of annual earnings, the results are restricted to earnings relating to the survey pay period and so exclude payments of arrears from another period made during the survey period; any payments due as a result of a pay settlement but not yet paid at the time of the survey will also be excluded.
For particular groups of employees, changes in median earnings between successive surveys may be affected by changes in the timing of pay settlements, in some cases reflecting more than one settlement and, in others, no settlement at all.
Most of the published ASHE analyses (that is, excluding annual earnings) relate to full-time employees on adult rates whose earnings for the survey pay period were not affected by absence. They do not include the earnings of those who did not work a full week, and whose earnings were reduced for other reasons, such as sickness. Also, they do not include the earnings of employees not on adult rates of pay, most of whom will be young people. More information on the earnings of young people and part-time employees is available in the main survey results. Full-time employees are defined as those who work more than 30 paid hours per week or those in teaching professions working 25 paid hours or more per week.
In line with normal practice this release contains revised estimates from the 2011 survey results which were published on 23 November 2011. These results take account of some corrections to the original 2011 data that were identified during the validation of the results for 2012, as well as late returns. Both the 2012 ASHE results and the revised estimates for 2011 ASHE will be made available from 22 November 2012.
Coefficient of variation
The coefficient of variation (cv) is the ratio of the standard error of an estimate to the estimate, expressed as a percentage. The smaller the cv, the higher the quality of the estimate. The coefficients of variation for the 2012 ASHE estimates are shown in the table below:
|Median gross weekly earnings||Men||0.3||0.7|
|Median gross hourly earnings||Men||0.3||0.6|
The 2012 ASHE is based on approximately 182,000 returns.
The Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) statistic, based on the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey of about 9,000 employers, is the lead measure of short-term changes in average earnings in Great Britain. Figures are available with industrial breakdowns and public/private sector splits. No information is available on occupation, hours worked, and other characteristics of the workforce.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) collects information on the earnings and normal and actual hours worked of about 15,000 people aged 16 and over each quarter. In addition it collects data on a wide range of personal characteristics, including education level and ethnic origin. This enables the preparation of statistics on levels and distribution of earnings similar to the ASHE but with lower precision due to the much smaller sample size.
Notes on tables
The percentage changes of constituent items in tables may not always agree exactly with the values shown due to rounding.
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
|Mark Williams||+44 (0)1633 456728||Office for National Statisticsemail@example.com|