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Supplementary analysis of average weekly earnings, October 2015 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 14 October 2015 Download PDF

Introduction

This note presents two analyses of the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) figures, which are published in the UK Labour Market Statistical Bulletin. We will update these analyses every month. The first section describes real AWE, i.e. AWE deflated by the Consumer Price Index. The second section analyses single month movements in the nominal AWE.

1. Real AWE

The charts below show the recent movements in real AWE (whole economy). This is calculated as nominal unadjusted AWE, divided by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This series is calculated for regular and total pay at the whole economy level and then seasonally adjusted. The data in Figures 1 and 2 are levels of real and nominal AWE, shown on a monthly basis, with an index of 2000 = 100. Figure 3 shows 3 months on 3 months previous year increases in these derived indices. The data are available at data table X04 (145 Kb Excel sheet) , together with estimates of real AWE at 2000 prices.

Comparing the 3 months to August 2015 with the same period in 2014, real AWE (total pay) grew by 2.9%, compared with 2.8% in the three months to July. Nominal AWE (total pay) grew by 3.0% in the three months to August, while the CPI rose by 0.0% in the year to August. Over the same period, real AWE (regular pay) grew by 2.7%, the same growth rate as seen in the three months to July. The nominal AWE (regular pay) rose by 2.8% in the three months to August.

Figure 1: AWE regular pay: real and nominal, seasonally adjusted, 2000=100

January 2000 to August 2015

Figure 1: AWE regular pay: real and nominal, seasonally adjusted, 2000=100
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 2: AWE total pay: real and nominal, seasonally adjusted, 2000=100

January 2000 to August 2015

Figure 2: AWE total pay: real and nominal, seasonally adjusted, 2000=100
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3: AWE total and regular real pay annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted

January to March 2001 to June to August 2015 (3 month average time periods)

Figure 3: AWE total and regular real pay annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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2. Contributions to nominal AWE – single month

The wages and employment contributions underlying the latest AWE data are available on the ONS website at the EARN02 data table (549 Kb Excel sheet) each month. The ‘employment contribution', shown in these charts changes if the relative proportion of employment in the 24 industrial headings changes, but will not necessarily change if total employment increases. Employment contributions were significantly negative in 2009 and 2010, largely caused by a shift away from employment in Financial and Insurance Activities, which are relatively highly paid industries.

Figures 4 and 5 summarise the recent figures:

Figure 4: AWE total pay by contributions

January 2001 to August 2015

Figure 4: AWE total pay by contributions
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 5: AWE regular pay by contributions

January 2001 to August 2015

Figure 5: AWE regular pay by contributions
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Employment contributions were small (0.1% for total and 0.0% for regular pay) in August 2015.

Background notes

  1. 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: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    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:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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