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Standardized Index of Average Earnings

The standardised index of average earnings documents the development in average hourly earnings – within sectors, industries or work functions in the Danish labour market – uninfluenced by any changes in the staff composition within the groups. The index is technically a price index. The statistics were first published in December 2018 with data dating back to 2016.

Statistical presentation

Standardized Index of Average Earnings is a quarterly estimate of the development in earnings for all employees in Denmark, except students and young persons under the age of 18. The indices are grouped by industry, function and sector.

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Statistical processing

Statistics Denmark gathers data from a sample of enterprises and organisations with at least ten full-time employees as well as all of the public sector, and it covers a single earnings period in the second month of the quarter. Data is validated automatically on an individual level as well as on an aggregate level, and Statistics Denmark also makes manual adjustments. First, we group the employees with other employees doing roughly the same job, for which we calculate base indices. The base indices are weighted together for sub-indices with weights that are replaced

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The standardised index of average earnings varies from the implicit index in that it measures the development in the average hourly earnings, in a way that is far less influenced by underlying structural effects caused by changes in the volume or quality of employees. The statistics are particularly relevant for private enterprises and organisations as well as ministries and other public institutions demanding an indicator for the real development of earnings for their analyses, contractual adjustments etc.

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Accuracy and reliability

For the public sectors, the statistics are based on more or less all employees. For enterprises and organisations, two factors may influence the accuracy, i.e. uncertainty in connection with the sample for the statistics, and issues of completeness in the reported data from the enterprise. In terms of reliability, the figures do not undergo revision; the published figures are usually final.

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Timeliness and punctuality

These statistics are published approx. 60 days after the end of the reference quarter. These statistics are published without delay.

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The Standardized Index of Average Earnings has a time series starting in Q1 2016 and was first published in December 2018. The Standardized Index of Average Earnings is based on the same data as the implicit wage index, but there are significant method differences that allow the two wage indices to be used only partially for comparison.

There are some other statistics abroad that can be partly compared with the Standardized Index of Average Earnings. The internationally used name for these indices is the Labor Price Index.

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Accessibility and clarity

The standardized index of average earnings is published in Statistics Denmark’s newsletter, “Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik”, together with the implicit index of average earnings. In Statbank Denmark, indices and annual increases are broken down by industry and sector in the table SBLON1, and by main Danish version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (DISCO) and sector in SBLON2. Furthermore, the indices are available on the subject page for Earnings and labour costs.

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