This Release shows the average weekly earnings of full-time employees in the Distribution and Business Services sectors.
The series is derived from a quarterly survey and data is available from March 1998. The series covers enterprises with more than five people employed. Part-time employees are not included as early analysis showed that it would not be possible to derive reliable earnings estimates for part-time employees.
The series is released in both paper format and on the web every quarter.
A questionnaire requesting details of the number of full-time employees and their total wages is sent to approximately 10,000 enterprises each quarter. The number of hours worked is not collected, nor is any breakdown by gender or employment activity. The survey relates to a week in the months of March, June, September and December. The survey covers a sample of enterprises in the Distribution and the Business Services sectors. Enterprises are classified using NACE Rev 1.1. This is an international classification used to group enterprises in similar activities. The survey covers NACE 50-52, 55, 60-64, and 70-71.
Each quarter the sample is classified into cells defined by NACE division and employment size, using information on the CSO Business Register.
The series began in March 1998. This was taken as the base period and average earnings per person per week were computed, from the survey returns, for each cell. These cell averages were then weighted using QNHS employment figures to derive the average earnings at NACE division and overall level. [The QNHS figures used for this weighting were the QNHS estimates for the December 1997 - February 1998 quarter allocated to size classes using the Business Register.]
For each subsequent quarter, a matched sample of enterprises making returns in both the current quarter and the previous quarter was used. The average weekly earnings in each cell of the matched sample for both quarters were computed. The quarter-on-quarter matched sample change in average weekly earnings in each cell was then applied to the average weekly earnings for the cell in the previous quarter, to produce the average weekly earnings for the cell in the current quarter. These cell averages were then weighted by QNHS-based full-time employment estimates for the current quarter to produce average earnings at NACE two-digit and higher levels.
The main internal user of our data is the National Accounts Section. External users of the data include economic analysts (such as ESRI) and academic researchers.
Earnings: Earnings represent the gross amount (before the deduction of tax, PRSI, superannuation, etc.) payable to employees. Earnings include normal wages and salaries and overtime, taxable allowances, regular bonuses and commissions, as well as holiday pay and sick pay. Excluded from earnings are back pay, redundancy pay, irregular bonuses (incl. annual bonuses), advances of pay, expenses, employers PRSI, and any earnings paid at irregular intervals.
Enterprise: An enterprise is defined as the smallest legally independent business unit. It may be comprised of one or more local units or branches.