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 European Commission > Eurostat > Labour market (including Labour Force Survey) > Earnings

Earnings

Earnings statistics vary with regard to periodicity of the data collection (biannual, annual and four-yearly), coverage (economic activity, enterprise size) and units of measurement (hourly, monthly or yearly earnings).

Annual gross earnings
Annual gross earnings cover remuneration in cash paid by the employer before tax deductions and social security contributions payable by wage-earners and retained by the employer. Countries provide earnings data and number of employees by sex and by economic activity. The data collection is based on a gentlemen's agreement between Eurostat and the Member States and data become available approximately 12 months after the end of the reference period.

Annual average gross earnings are the basis for the calculation of several other indicators such as annual net earnings, representing the workers earnings after deductions, and the tax rate indicators.

Net earnings and tax rates
The transition from annual gross to annual net earnings requires the deduction of income taxes and employees' social security contributions from the gross amounts and the addition of family allowances. The amount of these components, and therefore the ratio of net to gross earnings, depends on the personal situation of the worker. Different family situations are considered, all referring to an 'average worker'. Differences exist with respect to marital status (single vs. married), number of earners (only for couples) and number of dependent children. Annual net earnings are collected according to a gentlemen's agreement and data become available approximately 12 months after the end of the reference period.

Tax rate indicators (tax wedge on labour costs, unemployment trap and low wage trap) are based on annual average gross and net earnings. They aim at monitoring work attractiveness. The tax rate indicators are calculated by the OECD according to a generally-accepted model.

Structure of Earnings Survey
Detailed tables on the results of the four-yearly Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) provide comparable information at EU-level on relationships between the level of earnings, individual characteristics of employees (sex, age, occupation, length of service, educational level) and their employer (economic activity, size of the enterprise, etc.) for reference years 2002, 2006 and 2010 (next survey: reference year 2014). The data collection is based on Council Regulation (EC) No 530/1999 of 9 March 1999 concerning structural statistics on earnings and on labour costs, and data become available approximately 2 years after the end of the reference year. Access to microdata is granted to researchers according to specific conditions and respecting statistical confidentiality.

Gender Pay Gap
The unadjusted Gender Pay Gap (GPG) represents the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees and of female paid employees as a percentage of average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees. The GPG data is based on the methodology of the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES). GPG data are released approximately 12 months after the end of the reference period.

Minimum wages
Minimum wage statistics refer to minimum wages set by national legislation and applicable to the majority of full-time salaried workers in each country. According to a gentlemen's agreement, data is provided biannually to Eurostat, in January and in July.
See also
Legislation
Last update 29.09.2011