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 2013 survey and revised estimates from the 2012 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 2013 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were £517, up 2.2% from £506 in 2012.
Men’s median full-time weekly earnings increased by 1.8% to £556 between 2012 and 2013, compared with an increase of 2.2% for women to £459.
Part-time median weekly earnings were £160 in April 2013, up 3.1% from 2012. For women, part-time weekly earnings were £164, compared with £149 for men.
The median gross weekly earnings for all employee jobs (full-time and part-time) were £417, an increase of 2.6% from 2012.
For the tax year ending 5 April 2013 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 £27,000. This was an increase of 2.1% compared with £26,500 in the year ending 5 April 2012.
Median gross annual earnings for men were £29,300, up 1.9% from 2012, and for women were £23,600, up 2.2%.
Excluding overtime, median gross hourly earnings of full-time employees were £13.03 per hour in April 2013, up 2.0% on 2012. The median hourly earnings of men increased by 2.5% compared with an increase of 1.9% for women.
In April 2013 10% of full-time employees earned less than £7.28 per hour (excluding overtime), while 10% earned more than £27.02 per hour.
Between 2012 and 2013 hourly earnings for full-time employees at the 10th percentile grew by 1.5%, which was the same as the growth seen at the 90th percentile. The comparable figures for part-time employees were increases of 1.8% for the 10th percentile and 2.7% for the 90th percentile.
The hourly earnings at the 90th percentile of full-time employees were 207% of the median while the hourly earnings at the 10th percentile were 56% of the median.
|Men||10% earned less than||7.50||6.19||6.90|
|50% earned less than||13.60||7.95||12.86|
|10% earned more than||29.59||23.65||28.88|
|Women||10% earned less than||7.00||6.19||6.40|
|50% earned less than||12.24||8.40||10.33|
|10% earned more than||23.55||19.50||22.13|
|All||10% earned less than||7.28||6.19||6.56|
|50% earned less than||13.03||8.29||11.56|
|10% earned more than||27.02||20.21||25.42|
Between 1997 (the first year for which ASHE data are available) and 2013 median full-time gross weekly earnings increased by 61%, from £321 to £517. Up until 2008 the annual increase in weekly earnings was fairly steady, averaging at around 4% each year. However since the start of the economic downturn earnings growth has slowed, with the annual increase averaging at around 2% each year between 2009 and 2013.
In April 2013 the annual increase in median full-time gross weekly earnings, at 2.2%, was slightly lower than the growth in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which was 2.4%. This was the fifth consecutive year that the CPI had increased above the growth rate in median weekly earnings after 11 consecutive years in which it was lower. However the gap has narrowed compared with that seen in April 2012.
Similar trends over time are observed for annual and hourly earnings. Table 5 shows selected earnings time series for full-time employees for the period 1997 to 2013.
|Gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime)|
|Year||Median gross weekly earnings||Median gross annual earnings||Median||10% earned less than||10% earned more than|
Annual earnings information was first collected in 1999. Figures represent earnings for the tax year ending 5 April.
Breaks in series in 2004, 2006 and 2011: (a) 2004 results excluding supplementary survey for comparison with 2003; (b) 2004 results including supplementary survey designed to improve coverage of the survey; (c) 2006 results with methodology consistent with 2005; (d) 2006 results with methodology consistent with 2007; (e) 2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2000; (f) 2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2010.
The earnings of women relative to men vary according to whether an employee works full-time or part-time. ASHE estimates show that median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of part-time employees were 36% less than the earnings of full-time employees in April 2013. At the same time (2013 Quarter 2), the Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the UK workforce consisted of approximately 12.8 million men (51% of the employee workforce) and 12.5 million women (49% of the workforce).
The LFS also shows that there is a difference in the proportion of male and female employees who work full- and part-time. For male employees, 88% worked full-time and 12% worked part-time in 2013 Q2, 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|
The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between men’s and women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s earnings. Looking at median hourly earnings (excluding overtime) there is a large difference in the gap for full-time employees compared to part-time employees.
In April 2013 men’s median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) grew by 2.5% to £13.60, up from £13.27 in 2012. In comparison, women’s hourly earnings were £12.24, a 1.9% increase compared with £12.01 in 2012. The gender pay gap for full-time employees therefore increased to 10.0% from 9.5% in 2012.
For part-time employees, men’s median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £7.95 in April 2013, up 3.0% from £7.72 in 2012. In comparison, women’s hourly earnings were £8.40, an increase of 3.2% from £8.14. The gender pay difference for part-time employees was therefore in the opposite direction to that of full-time employees, widening to -5.7% compared with -5.5% in 2012.
In April 2013 the gender pay gap based on median hourly earnings for all employees (full-time and part-time) increased slightly to 19.7% from 19.6% in 2012.
|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. The mean measure of earnings tends to be higher than the median as it is skewed by the relatively small number of employees at the top end of the distribution with extremely high earnings.
Men’s mean gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £16.91 in April 2013, up 2.3% from £16.52 in 2012. Women’s mean hourly earnings increased by 1.3% to £14.25 compared with £14.07 in 2012. This means that the gender pay difference for full-time employees widened to 15.7% from 14.8% in 2012.
For part-time employees, men’s mean hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were £11.73, up from £11.58 in 2012, compared with women’s hourly earnings of £11.12, up from £10.79. The gender pay gap for part-time employees therefore narrowed to 5.2%, from 6.9% in 2012. It is noteworthy that the pay gap for mean earnings is in the opposite direction to that for median earnings. 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 increased to 19.1% in 2013 from 18.6% in 2012.
|Men||Women||Pay gap %|
Figure 10 shows median gender pay differences by age group based on full-time hourly earnings (excluding overtime). The gender pay gap is relatively small in age groups up to, and including, the 30-39 age group (with the exception of the 16-17 age group), but is relatively large thereafter. This is likely to be connected with the fact that many women have children and the time taken out of the labour market, combined with career choices they make subsequent to this, may impact on their earnings thereafter.
In April 2013 the gender pay gap for full-time employees at the 90th percentile (20.4%) was larger than those for the median (10.0%) and 10th percentile (6.6%).
For part-time employees, there was no gender pay gap at the 10th percentile, a gap of -5.7% for the median (i.e. women’s earnings were higher than men’s), and a gap of 17.5% for the 90th percentile.
For all employees (full-time and part-time), the gender pay difference was smallest at the 10th percentile (7.2%) and largest at the 90th percentile (23.4%).
The median gross weekly pay of full-time employees in the public sector was £574 in April 2013, up 1.6% from £564 in 2012. For the private sector the comparable figure was £490, up 2.3% from £479 in 2012.
The public and private sectors have workforces which are composed quite differently. 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.
ASHE breakdowns by public and private sector are produced according to the legal status of the employers. Between 2008 and 2009 some banks were nationalised, meaning that they moved from the private sector to the public sector.
These bank reclassifications changed the distribution of earnings in the public and private sectors and so it is interesting to look at the impact of the reclassifications on public and private sector growth. If median earnings for 2012 and 2013 are recalculated with all the nationalised banks reclassified to the private sector then the annual increase in weekly earnings between April 2012 and 2013 for the public sector stays at 1.6% but for the private sector it becomes 2.6% (compared with 2.3%).
|Banks in public sector||Banks in private sector|
|Public sector||Private sector||Public sector||Private sector|
The composition of the public and private sectors changes from year to year. For example, when new jobs are created at the lower end of the earnings distribution, or when highly-paid jobs are lost, this exerts a drag on the median figure. Looking only at jobs in which the employee had been in post for at least one year (thereby removing the influence of the changes in the composition of the labour market), different growth rates in the public and private sectors are seen. For the public sector the annual increase in median full-time gross weekly earnings between April 2012 and 2013 becomes 3.8% (compared with 1.6%) and for the private sector it becomes 3.5% (compared with 2.3%).
In April 2013 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were highest in London, at £658 (27% higher than the national median), and lowest in Northern Ireland, at £460 (11% lower than the national median). London’s high levels of pay are largely due to the fact that a high proportion of its labour force is employed in high-paying industries and occupations, and also because many employees are entitled to allowances for working in the capital.
It should be noted that earnings comparisons take no account of variations in prices for goods and services between regions and therefore do not necessarily indicate differences in the standard of living. Neither do they take account of differences in the regional composition of the workforce, meaning that like-for-like comparisons may not be appropriate. For example, a region might have a lower level of median earnings than another if it has a higher proportion of employees in industries or occupations with relatively low earnings.
Figure 13 shows median full-time gross weekly earnings by region in April 2013. In addition, an interactive chart showing changes in earnings by region over time and an interactive map showing earnings by local authority are available by clicking the following links:
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 £477, and for women they were lowest in the East Midlands, at £409.
|Region||Men||% change from 2012||Women||% change from 2012||All||% change from 2012|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||517.5||3.4||416.3||1.0||479.1||3.1|
In April 2013 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 £580. 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 £638, whereas women’s earnings were highest in the 30 to 39-year-old age group, at £533.
|Age group||Men||% change from 2012||Women||% change from 2012||All||% change from 2012|
In April 2013 median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were highest for managers, directors and senior officials, at £765 (48% higher than the median for all employees), and lowest for sales and customer service occupations, at £331 (36% lower than the median for all employees).
|Major occupation group||Men||Women||All|
|1 - Managers, directors and senior officials||821.2||651.6||765.1|
|2 - Professional occupations||755.0||655.2||703.2|
|3 - Associate professional and technical occupations||624.7||519.0||582.4|
|4 - Administrative and secretarial occupations||436.8||384.3||399.6|
|5 - Skilled trades occupations||486.3||345.3||476.1|
|6 - Caring, leisure and other service occupations||370.4||325.5||336.7|
|7 - Sales and customer service occupations||345.0||321.5||331.2|
|8 - Process, plant and machine operatives||450.0||325.8||436.1|
|9 - Elementary occupations||360.0||284.5||336.4|
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 £655, and lowest in elementary occupations, at £284.
Additional payments (i.e. overtime, bonuses, commission and shift pay) accounted for 5.1% of mean full-time gross weekly earnings in April 2013. For male employees additional payments accounted for 6.1% of mean total weekly earnings compared with 3.2% for women.
|Gross pay||Overtime||Bonuses or commission||Shift, etc.||Component subtotal|
In April 2013 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.
The mean weekly paid hours of work for full-time men were 40.1 hours compared with 37.4 for women. For part-time employees the mean weekly paid hours worked were 17.5 hours for men and 18.3 for women.
The proportion of full-time employees working paid overtime in April 2013 was 18.6%, the same as in 2012. Full-time employees worked a mean average of 1.1 paid overtime hours per week in 2013. The proportion of full-time men who worked paid overtime was 22.8% and for full-time women it was 12.1%.
|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 2013 information related to the pay period which included 17 April.
This bulletin contains provisional results from the 2013 survey and revised results from the 2012 survey. More detailed information is available on the ONS website.
Basic quality information
Link to Summary Quality Report
A Summary Quality Report for ASHE (189.4 Kb Pdf) can be found on the ONS website. 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. Further information about the uses of ASHE statistics (81 Kb Pdf) can also be found on the ONS website.
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.
Similarly, methodological changes in 2004 and 2006 also resulted in discontinuities in the ASHE time series.
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 2012 survey results which were published on 22 November 2012. These results take account of some corrections to the original 2012 data that were identified during the validation of the results for 2013, as well as late returns. Both the 2013 ASHE provisional results and the revised estimates for 2012 will be made available from 12 December 2013.
ASHE aims to provide high quality statistics on the structure of earnings for various industrial, geographical, occupational and age-related breakdowns. However, the quality of these statistics varies depending on various sources of error.
Sampling error results from differences between a target population and a sample of that population. Sampling error varies partly according to the sample size for any particular breakdown or 'domain'. Indications of the quality of ASHE estimates are provided in the form of coefficients of variation (cv). The coefficient of variation is the ratio of the standard error (se) of an estimate to the estimate, expressed as a percentage. Generally, if all other factors are constant, the smaller the cv the higher the quality of the estimate. Tables of cvs corresponding to estimates are published alongside the estimates themselves. High-level coefficients of variation for the 2013 ASHE estimates are shown in Table 17.
|Median gross weekly earnings||Men||0.3||0.7|
|Median gross hourly earnings||Men||0.3||0.5|
It should be noted that at low levels of disaggregation high coefficients of variation imply estimates of low quality. For example, for an estimate of £400 with a cv of 10%, the true value is likely to lie between £321.60 and £478.40. This range is given by the estimate +/- 1.96*se. Where these ranges for different estimates overlap, interpretation of differences between the relevant domains becomes more difficult.
ASHE statistics are also subject to non-sampling errors. For example, there are known differences between the coverage of the ASHE sample and the target population (i.e. all employee jobs). Jobs that are not registered on PAYE schemes are not surveyed. These jobs are known to be different to the PAYE population in the sense that they typically have low levels of pay. Consequently, ASHE estimates of average pay are likely to be biased upwards with respect to the actual average pay of the employee population. Non-response bias may also affect ASHE estimates. This may happen if the jobs for which respondents do not provide information are different to the jobs for which respondents do provide information. For ASHE, this is likely to be a downward bias on earnings estimates since non-response is known to affect high-paying occupations more than low-paying occupations.
Finally, ASHE results tables do not account for differences in the composition of different 'slices' of the employee workforce. For example, figures for the public and private sectors include all jobs in those sectors and are not adjusted to account for differences in the age, qualifications or seniority of the employees or the nature of their jobs, all factors which may affect how much employees earn.
Further information about the quality of ASHE (57.5 Kb Pdf) , including a more detailed discussion of coverage and non-response errors, is available on the ONS website.
The 2013 ASHE is based on approximately 184,000 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 AWE and ASHE are not directly comparable on all measures of earnings. The closest measure that can be derived and compared for these surveys is for mean gross weekly pay in Great Britain. In the year to April 2013 the ASHE estimate of mean gross weekly pay for all employees (regardless of whether they worked full-time or part-time) was £504, up 2.2% on the previous year. The comparable estimate from the AWE was £485, up 3.9% from April 2012. However it should be noted that the relatively high percentage increase for AWE partly reflects unusually high bonus payments in April 2013 as a result of some businesses deferring some bonuses that would normally have been paid in March 2013 to April 2013.
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.
A list of names of those given pre-release access to the contents of this bulletin is available on the ONS website.
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: email@example.com
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
|James Tucker||+44 (0)1633 456589||Office for National Statisticsfirstname.lastname@example.org|