Description of page content: Summary of important quality information that you need to know before using this data.

Description of QMI doc: The Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) Quality and Methodology Information .PDF attached to this page contains further information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data
  • the quality of the output: including the accuracy of the data, how it compares with related data
  • uses and users
  • how the output was created

Important points about AWE data

  • Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) is the lead measure of changes in earnings, which replaced the Average Earnings Index (AEI) in January 2010.
  • AWE is widely used as a measure of wages growth, often in contract escalation clauses and pay negotiations.
  • AWE is not a measure of rates of pay and can be affected by changes in the composition of an enterprise’s workforce.
  • AWE publishes separate estimates of the wage and employment contributions to AWE growth in supplementary tables called the AWE decomposition.
  • Businesses with fewer than 20 employees are not sampled; instead they are estimated using a factor derived from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).
  • Excludes the self-employed, HM Armed Forces and government-supported trainees.
  • AWE does not differentiate between full-time and part-time workers.

Overview

Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) is a publication designed to capture monthly changes in the average earnings of employees in Great Britain. Data are published by sector, industry, with bonus payments both included and excluded, and data both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted. Wage and employment contributions and data adjusted for inflation are also published.

It is an important economic indicator, and as such, is used by the Bank of England and HM Treasury (HMT) to measure the pressure being put on inflation by the labour market. More broadly, AWE is widely used as a measure of wages growth, sometimes in pay negotiations, but more often in contract escalation clauses.

AWE for any given month is the ratio of estimated total pay for the whole economy, divided by the total number of employees. As a result, AWE is not a measure of rates of pay and can be affected by changes in the composition of an enterprise’s workforce.

AWE is calculated using the data collected in the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey (MWSS), and is weighted to be representative of the Great Britain economy as a whole. The self-employed, HM Armed Forces and government-supported trainees are excluded from the statistics.

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