Hours and earnings

Hours worked

Figures for hours worked in the economy can show the total number of hours worked across the economy and in specific sectors, as well as how many people work what hours. The Office for National Statistics assembles this data as part of its Labour Force Survey.

Productivity figures measure the output of workers, either per worker, per job or per hour worked, as well as what workers cost. They can show which industries and regions add more value to the economy than others. The ONS publishes labour productivity figures every three months.


Figures for what people earn are collected by lots of different organisations, and so it depends on which measure you’re looking for.

For a simple overview of average weekly wages across the economy and in different industries, the Office for National Statistics’ Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey is the best choice. It’s published alongside the employment figures.

For the personal characteristics of earners, such as gender, age, education level and ethnicity, the ONS’s Labour Force Survey is useful, and is also to be found alongside the employment figures.

The ONS also publishes the less regular Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, based on a sample of data recorded by HM Revenue and Customs. It gives much more information on the distribution of earnings and paid hours worked across different industries, occupations and regions, as well as the personal characteristics of earners such as gender and age.


Figures for bonuses and which sectors and industries of the economy pay them are regularly available from the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

Low pay

The National Minimum Wage is set annually by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the advice of the Low Pay Commission, which produces figures on the rates, costs and effects of the Wage.

The Office for National Statistics also publishes an annual ‘Low Pay’ release that counts the number of people paid below the Wage, as well as breakdowns of the low- paid by gender, region, industry and occupation.