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Personal Finance and Welfare, Social Statistics
Uwe Pedersen
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Indices of Average Earnings for the Private Sector (Discontinued)

Data are collected from the private enterprises and organisations that are included in the sample and cover the second month of the quarter in question. To start with, a rough search for errors is performed on the data. Then, the change in the average earnings per hour from the previous quarter is calculated for each enterprise. Only enterprises where data exists for both quarters are included in the computations. The average hourly wage per observations in the sample is then weighted to take account of all enterprises in a specific branch of economic activity in the population. A total figure for the average hourly wage and the rate of increase from the last quarter is then calculated for each branch of economic activity. After this the index point and the annual rate of increase is calculated for each branch. Finally the total index point and annual rate of increase is found as a total for all branches.

Source data

The data are collected quarterly from a sample survey comprising business enterprises in the private sector of ten or more employees, and also partly public enterprises not belonging to the public administration sector. The collection of information about the enterprises is done in collaboration with the Confederation of Danish Employers, the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector and the Association of Danish Pharmacies. For public enterprises, data is collected from the Agency for Modernisation (an organisation under the Ministry of Finance), DSB (Danish State Railways) and KRL (the Municipal and Regional Wage Data Office of Denmark). The sample of the private enterprises is stratified and extracted from the Business Register (ESR) after number of full-time employees divided into the following size groups: 10-19, 20-49, 50-99 and 100+. All enterprises with 100+ employees are included in the sample.

Frequency of data collection

Data is collected quarterly.

Data collection

The data collected consists exclusively of extracts from the reporting enterprises’ and organisations’ IT-systems for payroll administration of their employees on individual levels. For most of the enterprises, the extracting of data is done by a system-to-system method, where the payroll system transmits data for their customers (enterprises and organisations) directly and in large quantities to Statistics Denmark. Enterprises and organisations with their own payroll system transmit data either by uploading it through a web-application, or by sending it as an encrypted file to a distinct e-mail address. The Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) and the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector (FA) collect data from their own members and transmit these data to Statistics Denmark by a special system-to-system solution. According to the act on Statistics Denmark, enterprises are obliged to supply the information requested. If they fail to do this, they will be reported to the Police and penalized with a fine.

Data validation

The received data is validated on several levels through the steps in the production process. Already by the receipt of the data, a rough search for errors is performed, for example of whether the period of the payroll is as expected and whether the general format is adhered to. If this is not the case, the person or company responsible for the transmission is contacted either by mail or phone and asked to correct the error and retransmit. During the actual production of statistics, the data is validated more thoroughly. This is done both on the individual level, where for example it is checked whether there are missing values on hours worked and wage, and on firm level where for example average pay per hour and number of employees are compared to data transmitted for previous quarters.

Data compilation

The quarterly rate of increase in wages is calculated as the mean wage per hour worked in one quarter compared to the mean wage per hour worked in the previous quarter. This is done for every group of industry. Since the data is based on a stratified sample, the first step that is done is to calculate the correct average wage per hour for each industry in both quarters. The average wage per hour for a group of industry is calculated as the weighted average of the hourly wages for the different size of employment classes 10-19, 20-49, 50-99 and 100+. In the calculations, only enterprises that have transmitted data for the two consecutive quarters are included. After having calculated the average wage per hour for each size class in an industry, the average wage per hour is calculated for the industry as a whole by weighting the different size classes after the number of workers in each of them for a certain quarter. The difference between the average wages per hour in the two consecutive quarters is then added to the sub-index of the industry. The sub-indices are then aggregated from the 36-class of industry to the 21- or 10-class of industry. The final index for the whole private sector is then calculated by weighting the sub-indices with the number of workers in each of them for enterprises and organizations with 10 employees or more.


Only enterprises that have transmitted data that can be used in both the quarter being measured and the previous quarter are included in the calculations of the index. This means that whenever data from an enterprise is omitted due to quality issues in a certain quarter, the enterprise will as a minimum first be included in the indices after the preceding quarter.