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Earning Statistics

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was earned on average by the (a) tenth, (b) fiftieth, (c) ninetieth and (d) ninety-fifth percentile of the working population in current prices in each year since 1992. (100238)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 7 November 2006:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how much was earned on average by the (a) tenth, (b) fiftieth, (c) ninetieth and (d) ninety-fifth percentile of the working population at current prices. I am replying in her absence. (100238)

Average earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for employees on adult rates of pay whose pay was unaffected by absence during the pay period. This is the standard definition used for ASHE. The ASHE does not collect data on the self employed and people who do unpaid work.

The attached table contains statistics on earnings percentiles from the ASHE for 2006 for all employees and for full time employees.

The ASHE, earned out in April of each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a one per cent sample of all employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes, but because of its sampling frame, it has difficulty capturing data on people with very low pay. It is therefore likely to under-represent relatively low paid staff earning below the tax threshold.

Gross weekly pay for employee jobs1: United Kingdom, 2006

£

Percentiles

10

50 (Median)

90

95

All employees

110

364

800

1,023

Full-time employees

244

447

886

1,138

1 Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent., we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220. All estimates have a CV of less than 5 per cent. Source:Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.