About the statistics
Name and topic
Topic: Labour market and earnings
Division for Labour Market and Wage Statistics
Definitions of the main concepts and variables
In the statistics, the earning term relates to payment for work in an employment relationship. The statistics do not include payment or benefit in kind, insurance, expense allowance, holiday pay etc.
Monthly earnings include basic monthly earning, variable additional allowances and bonuses. Overtime pay is not included in monthly earnings.
Basic earnings is the fixed amount, in cash, that is paid, whether it is defined as an hourly, monthly, fortnightly or weekly earnings. Basic earnings also referred to as earnings on a scale or regular basic earning, is the actual paid amount at reference period. . Qualification/skills allowances and other regular personal allowances are examples of fixed supplementary allowances that are includes in basic earnings..
Variable additional allowances
As a rule, variable additional allowances are associated with irregular duties or working hours and the numbers given are a calculated average per month for the period 1 January to the time of the reference period. Variable additional allowances cover allowances for irregular working hours, call-out allowance, shift allowance, dirty work allowance, offshore allowance and other allowances that occur irregularly.
Bonuses includes allowances that are usually not associated with specific work tasks and where the payments occur irregularly with respect to the period the earnings are retained or to when they apply. Other examples of types of payments under this item are profit sharing, production allowance and gratuities. Bonuses are a calculated average per month for the period 1 January to the reference period.
Payment for overtime work
Payment for overtime work covers the compensation in cash for work done beyond contractual working hours, which often are compensated with a supplement to the basic earnings. Overtime compensation is a calculated average per month over the period 1 January to the time of the census. This type of payment is not included in monthly earnings, but statistics covering overtime compensation are published.
Overtime hours are defined as hours compensated in cash and that exceed the contractually agreed hours or are regulated in legislation to qualify as overtime, and where supplementary payments are compulsory. Compensation of overtime work may in many cases also be compensated with leave or holidays, the value of which are not calculated in the earnings statistics.
Annual earnings are estimated from the assumption that earnings are paid 12 months per year. It includes the three main elements of the monthly earning term: basic earnings, bonuses and variable additional allowances. Overtime pay is compensation related to work outside the ordinary working hours and are not included in annual earnings. Remuneration in kind, holiday pay or severance pay are not included. Payment in arrears are included in the statistics in the month it was payed.
Annual earnings are estimated on an aggregated level per industry division/sector and include both full-time and part-time employees. Part-time earnings are converted to full-time earnings (see: Full-time equivalents).
For estimation of annual earnings, a simple model where the sum of average earnings for all months in the year are utilized. Bonuses and additional allowances are calculated by spreading the sum evenly throughout.
For more information on calculating annual earnings: Documentation calculation system for annual wage.
Full-time and part-time
From 2015, full-time employees are defined as employees with a 100% job (employment). Anyone with less than a 100% job (employment) are defined as part-time employees. By combining information about percentage of job (employment) and the number of hours in a full-time position, the contractual working hours per week are estimated for each employee. The weekly contractual working hours of the majority of full-time employees are 37.5.
Contractual working hours is defined as the number of contracted hours per week. Days off due to vacation, leave, illness etc is not deducted. Contractual working hours are estimated based on percentage of employment and the number of hours in a full-time position.
In order to compare earnings between full-time and part-time employees, the earnings of part-time employees are converted to the equivalent for full-time work. This is done using the percentage of each part-time employee’s position as a conversion factor. Monthly earnings per full-time equivalent for part-time employees can then be merged with the monthly earnings of full-time employees so that the average monthly earnings for all employees can be calculated.
Age and sex
The national identity number indicates age and sex.
The analytical unit of the statistics are jobs (employments) per establishment. Job and employment are used synonymously and defines work compensated by earnings. A person may have several jobs/employments in different establishments. Multiple jobs within the same establishment are summed up to one job.
Residents, non-residents and immigrants
Residents are defined as persons registered in the National Registry and include temporary residents who plan on staying in Norway for six months or more.
Non-residents are defined as persons registered in the National Registry with a planned stay in Norway of less than six months. Non-residents include persons with a temporary social security number (D-number) or registered as emigrants, but who work in Norway.
Immigrants are defined as persons who are born abroad, have foreign-born parents and grandparents, and later immigrated to Norway. Data on immigration status and country background are retrieved from registries at Statistics Norway.
For individuals born abroad, country background is the person’s (with few exceptions) country of birth. For individuals born in Norway, parents’ country of birth is used. If the parents have different countries of birth the mother's country of birth defines country background. If neither the person nor the parents are born abroad, country background is chosen from the first person born abroad in the order mother's mother, mother's father, father's mother, father's father.
An apprentice is an employee who has signed a contract with a company to have the period of apprenticeship training in this company. Pupils in vocational training in schools are also defined as apprentices.
The industrial classification is in accordance with the revised Standard Industrial Classification SN07 (NOS D 383), which is based on the EU-standard of NACE Rev. 2.
The occupational classification is in accordance with Standard Classification of Occupations (STYRK-08), which is based on ISCO 08 (COM).
The sector classification is in accordance with the Classification of Institutional Sector.
The information about residence is collected from the National Registry and the information about the municipality of work is obtained from the Central Register of Business Establishments and Enterprises (CRE). The workplace for seafarers and employees in the National defense is set equal to the municipality of residence. The workplace for employees whose municipality of work, is abroad is set to “Not Mainland Norway”. For employees whose residence is abroad, the residence is also set to “Not Mainland Norway”.
Education levels are obtained from the National Education Database (NUDB). The classification is by the length of education according to the Standard for Educational Classification. There are grouped by length of education in accordance Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (C617).
From 2011 it is in NUDB including results from survey on education completed abroad. This survey led to the proportion unknown in BHU was reduced from about 43 percent to 20 percent.
More information about the Standard Education Classification can be found at http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/04/90/
County, the whole country and municipality.
Frequency and timeliness
Annual with September as reference month.
The statistics are published in February the following year.
Reporting to Eurostat every 4 years acc. Council Regulation (EC) no. 530/1999 of 9 March 1999. Reporting is performed within 18 months after the end of the census year.
Raw data files with wage data put through link and estimation programs are stored.
Background and purpose
The purpose of the statistics is to provide an overview of wage levels and wage changes for all employees irrespective of industry or working hours.
The purpose of the statistics is to provide an overview of wage levels and wage changes for all employees independent of industry or working hours. The statistics were established in 1997 based on sample sirveys in the private sector and from registers in the public sector.
The time series for earnings of all employees has two breaks in 2008 and 2015.
1997-2008: The wage statistics were based on an older Standard Industrial Classification (SN2002)
2008-2015: In 2009 Statistics Norway introduced a new version of the Norwegian industry classification (SN2007). The wage statistics in 2008 were revised according to the new version of the Norwegian industry classification.
In 2015 the wage statistics were based on a new data source A-ordningen, but for in order to mage them comparab with the wage statistics in 2014 wage statistics they were based on a sample of enterprises.
From 2015 the wage statistics will be based on a census and on a common reporting system known as A-ordningen. In 2015 this reporting was coordinated with the reporting of earnings and personnel data to the Tax Administration and Statistics Norway.
You can find more information about the new reporting at www.altinn.no/en/a-ordningen.
There is also a break in the time series related to the occupation information in the new series being based on a New occupation standard in according with the Standard Classification of Occupations-08 (STYRK-08). Employers have reported those employed according to the former occupation standard STYRK-98. Statistics Norway has subsequently converted from the previous to the current standard.
You can find more information about the break under "Production".
Users and applications
Major users are the Technical Reporting Committee on the Income Settlements, research and official studies institutes, employee and employer organisations, Eurostat, the media, trade and the business sector and private persons. The statistics are used in Statistics Norway’s Labour Accounts and in quarterly wage indices.
Equal treatment of users
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.
Coherence with other statistics
The annual wage statistics and the quarterly wage statistics are
closely related, and are based on the same data source. Register based employment statistics
also use the same data from A-ordningen.
Statistics Act Sections § 3-2 (Administrative registers).
The wage statistics in Statistics Norway are built around the European regulations for measuring wages, in addition to protecting national needs related to factors such as wage negotiations.
The main objective of wage statistics is primarily to describe wage changes for characteristics that are not directly related to the individual, but to the characteristics individuals bring to the labour market and that are linked to the job (employment).
The reporting unit in the wage statistics is enterprises.
The population of employees is collected from enterprises in all industry sections except paid housework and international bodies and organisations in accordance with the Standard for Industrial Classification (SN2007).
Each enterprise comprises one or more businesses, which are grouped by industry association. The analysis unit in the statistics is employee per business. An employee (individual) can have more than one job in different businesses, whilst jobs (employments) within the same business is aggregated into one. The employment figure will therefore exceed the number of employees (individuals) in the population.
The population in the wage statistics is closely related to who actually receives wages in a given period. What qualifies as a wage is a determining factor for understanding the population.The definition of wages is remuneration for work performed, and differs from, for example, the national accounts and wage totals statistics.
The statistics do not include fringe benefits, insurance, tax-free expenditure allowances or such like. Remuneration also includes amounts paid for the job/position to which they belong. It follows that remuneration for directors' fees, fees for other boards/committees and functioning well.
Beyond this, there is no limit related to the characteristics of the employee (working hours, main job/ part-time position, resident/non-resident, age, occupation, temporary or similar). The self-employed are not included.
The population is defined using the variables available in the A-ordningen, and the principles are as follows:
Employees working in the reference week in the reference month (calculated as employed)
- In addition, they must have received a fixed salary or hourly wage during the reference month
Reference Week is the week that contains the 16th, which is the 3. week in September.
Practical challenges are largely related to determining what kind of payment the employee has received in the reference month and evaluating the earning in relation to information about the job (employment).
Data sources and sampling
As from 2015, the wage statistics will be based on a full census from the new A-ordningen (https://www.altinn.no/a-ordningen/). A-ordningen is a coordinated reporting of wage and employment information to the Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway.
Data is collected electronically from the Tax Administration Shared Services Agency (Etatenes fellesforvaltning, EFF).
All employers who have paid wages, cash benefits or fringe benefits must submit an A-ordningen report each month. The data thus covers all employees in all enterprises covered by the wage statistics.
Up to the end of 2014, the data was collected electronically from a sample of businesses in the private sector and from registers in the public sector.
Collection of data, editing and estimations
As from 2015, the wage statistics will be based on data reported in the A-ordningen. Statistics Norway receives data monthly from Tax Administration Shared Services Agency (Etatenes fellesforvaltning, EFF). which administers A-ordningen on behalf of Tax Administration, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) and Statistics Norway.
Information collected includes monthly earnings, basic earnings, bonuses and payment for overtime work.
Various controls are undertaken:
- Business rules in the receipt of data from the Tax Administration Shared Services Agency (Etatenes fellesforvaltning, EFF).
- In Statistics Norway’s production system for wages and employment
Business rule controls in the receipt of data from EFF:
A number of rules of business (controls) are being run to uncover errors/omissions in the submitted information, after a-meldingen is received by EFF.errors/omissions in the submitted information. Small to medium-sized legal entities with a declaration obligation receive feedback almost instantly (within a minute), while larger legal entities have to wait slightly longer. The feedback from EFF includes all discrepancies identified, indicating where in the submitted information the discrepancies appear and what business rule has been breached
Business rules and errors that can occur are documented at the homepages of A-ordningen:
Controls in Statistics Norway's Production system:
A number of controls and automatic measures are performed during the production. The purpose is to safeguard the quality of the data for statistical purposes. We distinguish between three types of Controls:
a) Automatic controls and measures
b) Reports (monitoring)
c) Manual controls
In addition to this, controls and checks are being carried out throughout the year, regardless of publication.
Controls aimed at uncovering errors and omissions that should be corrected are mostly related to employment. Many of the controls are designed to identify errors and missing values in reported hours in full-time and part-time positions, combined with other identifiers such as type of employment, working time arrangements and payment arrangements, including:
- The number of hours, full time, is missing.
- The number of hours, full time, likely to be incorrectly reported
- The number of hours, full time, deviates from the reported working time arrangements
- The number of hours, full time, is extremely high or low
- The percentage of the position is missing
Many cases of registered employment are removed (not considered active) during production because no wage is registered for that case in the reference month. This could apply to seasonal workers who have not performed any work in the reference month (and therefore not been paid), and where no employment termination date has been reported (incorrectly), or in cases where individuals have mistakenly been reported with active employment (e.g. temporary staff who have not worked during the given period).
The controlling and editing of wage statistics take place in several stages, and most operations are automated with respect to both the control and the subsequent correction.
Upon receipt of data from A-ordningen, a number of key variables are controlled, both at micro and macro levels.
Obvious errors and omissions in the reporting trigger the imputation of values using statistical methods. The scope of this is about 5% of the total employment. Imputation may be from an earlier period, or from similar (comparable) employment.
Wage statistics do not take into account the outcome of wage negotiations, but measure the change in wages as they have been paid at the time of Reporting.
Structural changes in industry have an impact on the statistics. How many and which groups of employees that enter or leave the labour market, how many people change their working hours and how many people change jobs between industries will all affect the wage Development.
According to Statistics Act Section 2-6, figures shall not be published in such a way that they may be traced to a particular respondent.
Comparability over time and space
The statistics in the current form were produced for the first time in 2003 and are comparable from 1997.
The content of the earning terms the same in all years of the statistics
Sources of error and uncertainty
The increasing use of electronic reporting of earning statistics in recent years has helped to reduce the number of reporting errors (see 3.1).
Possible measurement errors are related to differences in the definitions of the earning components in the original earning statistics.
The possibility of processing errors occurring is connected to the use of the data material from the original earning statistics. The data material is primarily collected to establish earning statistics for the respective industries (see 3.2).
Non-response in the individual earning statistics is between 2.5 and 5 per cent. This may have some influence on the statistics.
Non-response in the original data material may be of importance.
Non-response in several of the items collected by form and used in the wage statistics can normally be logically calculated on the basis of other information given on the form or imputed from earlier years.
Sampling errors are errors that may arise in areas subject to sampling. Only the statistics for central government, municipalities and publicly maintained schools are based on censuses.
Observations may also be rejected on the basis of insufficient information and / or incorrect values. By obvious error reporting will be imputed using statistical methods.
Registry errors can occur in connection to the Business and Enterprise Register (VOF). Error in registry for information about the industry and / or sector may cause the businesses to be positioned incorrectly. Errors or distortions in the registration in the National Education Database (NUDB) will also lead to errors in the statistics.
Beginning with 2015, data underlying the statistics based on information from A-ordningen. Observations can also here be rejected on the basis of insufficient information and / or incorrect values in variables.
All sample-based surveys will be burdened with a certain uncertainty. Generally, the results are less certain the fewer the observations they are based on. Uncertainty also depends on wage dispersion and rate of coverage for the various variables in the population from which the sample is drawn.
This statistic has no sample bias of its own. However, the respective statistics this statistic are based on may be the subjects of sample bias, which arise when the distribution on some variables in different parts of the sample is not the same as the corresponding distribution in the population.
Sample bias in the individual statistics will be of less importance for this statistics due to the considerable quantity of data it is based on.
Incorrect industry codes and/or employment data in The central register of Establishments and Enterprises (CRE) during the selection of the sample may result in the establishments being placed in the wrong industry or selection stratum. Incorrect registrations in the register of the Population’s Highest Level of Education may also cause errors in the statistics.
Model assumption errors
The wage statistics for all employees are based on a re-weighting of several wage statistics and the underlying assumptions for this weighting are a source of model error. To be considered is how appropriate the employment figures from national accounts are for this purpose and the quality and demands that these figures rely on. One model assumption is that the sample from the respective wage statistics reflects the distribution of full-time and part-time employees in the population.
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