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Indices of Earnings for the Public Sector

The purpose of the index is to indicate trends in wages paid in the public sector (central and local governments) analyzed by main sectors of economic activity. The index covers more or less all employees in the public sector, including salaried employees, apprentices and young employees under the age 18. Data are mainly extracted from the public pay transfer systems and refer to the second month in the quarter of interest. The published index is broken down by main sectors of economic activity (38-grouping of NACE rev. 2), and indicate trends in relation to the basic quarter (first quarter of 2005) and in relation to the same quarter of the previous year. Since the release of the third quarter of 2008 there has been a change in the base period of the index, which is now the first quarter of 2005.

Statistical presentation

The index is based on information on wages obtained from more or less all employees in the public sector. Data are mainly extracted from the public pay transfer systems and refer to the second month in the quarter of interest. The published index is broken down by main sectors of economic activity (38-grouping of NACE rev. 2), and indicate trends in relation to the basic quarter (first quarter of 2005) and in relation to the same quarter of the previous year.

From the first quarter of 2013 a new delimitation regarding the categorizing of sectors (state, regional, municipal or private) came into force. The new sector delimitation now follows the same principles as the one applied for the national accounts. The previous delimitation of sectors is available until the fourth quarter of 2013.

This documentation of statistics relates to the index of average earnings with the base period 1. quarter of 2005=100. The documentation of statistics with the base period 1. quarter of 1995 is attached as an annex.

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Statistical processing

Data are collected for more or less all persons employed in the public sector in Denmark and refer to the second month of the quarter in interest. Before production of the index is started, the data are roughly searched for errors. But there are also performed search for errors later in the process, e.g. by looking at the rate of increase in the average wages for each company or organisation. Each employment is given a weight after the share of hours worked in relation to a full-timer’s normal hours, which is used when adding observations to calculate the rate of increase for an enterprise or branch of economic activity.

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Relevance

Private enterprises and organizations in Denmark and abroad, and ministries and other public institutions are the most frequent users of the index. The index is especially used in relation to regulation of contracts. In addition to that, the index plays a vital part in the wage negotiations of employees in the public sector.

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Accuracy and reliability

Since the index is based on information on wages obtained from more or less all publicly employed persons through public pay transfer systems, the accuracy and reliability of the index is considered to be high. At the same time, there are some small uncertainties regarding the index which it is a good idea to be aware of when applying the index.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The index of average earnings is published approximately 45 days after the end of the quarter in question. The punctuality of the publication is considered high and there has been no delays of any kind during the last years.

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Comparability

Improvements in the index are continuously being made. If major errors have been rectified, the index has, as far as possible, been revised back to the first quarter of 1995 when calculations of the index began. From the first quarter of 2013 a new delimitation of sectors (state, regional, municipal or private) has been applied. Hence causing a breach in the data between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. The index of average earnings in the public sector is comparable and in many ways similar to the index of average earnings for Corporations and Organisations. Internationally, the index is to some degree comparable to wage indices of the public sector in other countries.

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Accessibility and clarity

The newest figure for the index of average earnings for public administration and service is published n a news release (called NYT) by Statistics Denmark as well as on the subject page on Earnings and Labour costs. Furthermore, the index is also used and published in the Statistical Ten-Year review and the Statistical Yearbook.

More detailed figures can also be found in Statbank.

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