Structure of Earnings Survey

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Structure of Earnings Survey

0.2 Subject area

Wages, salaries and income

0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Statistics Iceland
Wage statistics
Telephone: (+354) 528 1250

0.4 Purpose and history

The Structure of Earnings Survey is conducted by Eurostat every fourth year, first in 2002.
The survey is based on the Council regulation no 530/1999 and Commission regulations no 1916/2002 and 1738/2005. The purpose of these regulations is to establish comparable wage statistics for the European Union member states and members of the European Economic Area. The survey provides detailed information on earnings and structure of earnings in participating countries.

0.5 Users and application

The data is used to compare different variables between participating countries. The main users are institutions, analysts, media, enterprises and individuals.

0.6 Sources

The data is based on the Structure of Earnings Survey conducted by Eurostat. Data from Iceland is based on the Icelandic Survey on Wages, Earnings and Labour Costs.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Data is collected according to law no 163/2007 regarding Statistics Iceland, Council regulation no 530/1999 and Commission regulations no 1916/2002 and 1738/2005 concerning structural statistics on earnings and labour cost.

0.8 Response burden

When collecting data the aim is to have the collection process as automatic and simple as possible. In the inclusion process the companies are visited, technical aspects concerning the software for wage calculations are addressed, along with details on entering records, such as classification of occupations. The company's wage structure is mapped; payroll items are assigned to the wage items of the survey to ensure coordination with other companies. Once the inclusion process is completed regular submission of data commences.

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

The regulation regarding wage and labour cost is the council regulation no 530/1999 concerning structural statistics on earnings and labour costs. Definitions and implementation of the survey can be found in other regulations. The commission regulation no 1916/2000 concerning structural statistics on earnings and on labour cost as regards the definition and transmission of information on structure of earnings, the commission regulation no 72/2002 as regards quality evaluation of structural statistics on earnings and the commission regulation 1738/2005 as regards the definition and transmission of information on the structure of earnings.

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

This survey is intended to publish comparable data on Annual Earnings, Monthly Earnings, Hourly Earnings, and number of Paid Hours according to economic activities, occupational group and age.

1.2 Statistical concepts

Annual Earnings are defined as the sum of all wages. That includes basic wages and salaries, additional allowances, bonus payments, overtime pay, shift premium, sickness pay, lump sum payments, other payments and remuneration paid for leave. All earnings in the reference year are included in the Annual Earnings.

Monthly Earnings are the sum of wages paid on regular bases every month. That excludes lump sum payments and bonuses paid on irregular bases. Monthly Earnings are based on October in the reference year.

Hourly Earnings are derived from Monthly Earnings and Paid Hours in October. Paid hours vary between countries and therefore the correlation between Monthly Earnings and Hourly Earnings is not linear.

Paid Hours are all hours paid, both daytime and overtime hours.

The survey includes both full-time and part-time employees. Data for part-time employees is converted to full-time equivalent.

European Union is weighted mean of the European Union member states. In 2002 the number of member states was 25 and in 2006 and 2010 the number of member states was 27.

Euro Area
is the weighted mean of the Euro Area member states. In 2006 the number of member states was 11, in 2006 the number of member states was 16 and in 2010 the number of member states was 17.

PPS Purchasing Power Standard eliminates the differences in price levels between countries. This means that a given sum of money, when converted into different currencies by means of PPSs, will buy the same volume of goods and services in all countries.

Euro: The exchange rate used for Iceland is the average exchange rate in the reference year. In 2002 the rate was 1 euro = 86.18 ISK, in 2006 the exchange rate was 1 euro = 87,76 ISK and in 2010 the exchange rate was 1 euro = 161,89 ISK.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

The survey is conducted every fourth year. Data for the reference years 2002, 2006, and 2010 has been published.

2.2 Process time

Transmission of data to Eurostat is 18 months after the reference period ends. The figures are published by Eurostat 12-18 months later, or two and a half to three years after the reference period ends. Shortly afterwards the figures are published domestically. The figures are final and are therefore not revised.

2.3 Punctuality

Eurostat publishes a release plan according to process time.

2.4 Frequency of releases

General results are published every fourth year.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

Every country that participates in the project is accountable for the data it transmits to Eurostat. Eurostat is accountable for calculation of main results and releasing of data.

3.2 Sources of errors

In the calculation of earnings various errors can occur. Sampling errors (coverage errors, non-response errors) may occur if the sampled companies do not reflect the population accurately. The population frame is based on monthly PAYE (Pay As You Earn) data and is updated annually. Thus, errors can arise if enterprises are incorrectly registered according to the industry classification, if companies are operating in more than one industry but only registered in one of the industries, if newly established companies are not a part of the population frame etc. In order to minimize errors due to imperfect population frame, effort is made to improve the data on regular basis.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

The statistical uncertainty is not calculated.

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

The methodology is the same between the periods. Eurostat can however, change variables and methods slightly as the experience in using the data grows. The sample can change considerable between periods and even though certain distribution of companies in each economic sector is achieved it can affect the ability of comparison of the data.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

No comparison has been made on these results and other economic statistics. It is possible to compare the Structure of Earnings Survey results with results of the LCI, Labour Cost Index, and LCS, Labour Cost Survey, where the basic variables are the same.

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

All figures are final, no preliminary figures are published.

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

  • News, released on Statistics Iceland's website
  • Statistics, categorised statistical web tables with summary of the data on Statistics Iceland website
  • Statistical Series, Hagtíðindi
  • Eurostat publishes the complete results on it's website,

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

The basic data is kept as confidence information in Statistic Iceland. Access to the basic data is only granted to those employees that work with the data. The primary characteristics of the enterprises and the individuals are scrambled to obscure the origin of the data.

5.3 Reports

A summary of the results are published in Statistical Series of Statistics Iceland.

5.4 Other information

Further information is provided by the department of Wages, income and education.

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 18-10-2013