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Earnings and Hours of Work

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)1 provides data on earnings for employees: gross annual, weekly and hourly pay (including and excluding overtime) and hours worked (including and excluding overtime).  It also provides a breakdown of earnings by gender and full / part-time workers; available down to local authority level and for parliamentary constituencies.  Earnings by occupation and industry are available but only at a national level.  In addition to this data set, data on personal incomes is available for residents from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) including income from employment, self-employment and pensions.

The data is produced on both a workplace and residence basis.

Workplace based – all people who work in Herefordshire regardless of which county they live in.

Residence based – people who live in Herefordshire i.e. including those who work outside the county.


This analysis looks at median gross weekly pay (£/week) of full time employees on a workplace basis. The median is used here in preference to the mean as a measure of the average, as the mean can be skewed by a small number of very high value earners. Since the hours worked by part-time employees cover a broad range (anything up to 35 hours per week) it is not meaningful to provide an average figure for part-time earnings. The proportion of part-time workers also varies across different authorities, making it difficult to compare earnings in a meaningful way.

In 2017*, the median weekly earnings for people who work in Herefordshire were £448.40 (± £41.31) significantly lower than those in the West Midlands region £514.90 (± £10.09) and England £555.80 (± £2.18). 

Annualised2 earnings were £23,381 (± £2,154) also significantly lower than the West Midlands, £26,848 (± £526) and England £28,981,(± £114). Weekly earnings for residents were £466.50 (±40.23), significantly lower compared to England although the difference was not significant compared with the West Midlands region.

Figure 1: Herefordshire's weekly earnings 2017*

Weekly earnings 2017

HMRC data for taxpayers puts median income from employment at £18,600 in 2014 -15 (the latest available) compared to £20,200 across the West Midlands region. This is residence based and doesn’t account for the hours people work. The median earnings from self-employment were £11,500 compared to £12,000 across the West Midlands, lower than the region, although the difference was not statistically significant.  

Among the 113 upper tier authorities (all council areas excluding district councils) in England, Herefordshire's median weekly earnings ranked 4th lowest in 2017. Over the past five years Herefordshire has been among the lowest seven authorities for median weekly earnings.

Figure 2: Earnings gap 2017*

Earnings gap 2017


Chart 1.  Weekly earnings for Herefordshire, the West Midlands and England, 2006 to 2017* 

Weekly earnings trends

 Source: ASHE 2017*, ONS—Crown Copyright

Looking at ASHE, the range of earnings between the 2nd and 8th deciles3 shows Herefordshire to have the lowest range of earnings out of any of the West Midlands authorities.  As well as having a lower range of earnings compared to the West Midlands and England, each of the deciles are also lower, although the difference is not statistically significant.

Chart 2. Range of weekly earnings for Herefordshire,the West Midlands and England, broken down by decile

Earnings by deciles 2017

Source: ASHE 2017*, ONS—Crown Copyright

Gender pay gap (GPG) iss the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men. In 2017*, Herefordshire gender pay gap (women's earnings were 10 per cent lower than men's earnings) was smaller than in the West Midlands region (12 per cent) but similar to the overall gap in England.

Figure 3: Gender pay gap in Herefordshire in 2017*

Gender pay gap 2017

Hours worked

The median of total paid hours by those working in Herefordshire was 39.9 hours per week, higher than that of regionally and nationally (37.5 hours). However, this difference is not statistically significant. 

*2017 figures are provisional

1. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings  (ASHE)

2. Annual salaries are provided by ASHE but they only include earnings of those who are employed in the same job for a year, whereas weekly earnings include all workers.  Therefore annualised salaries were calculated using median weekly earnings, which includes more employees

3. A decile is any of the nine values that divide the sorted data into ten equal parts, so that each part represents one 10th of the sample or population. The highest (9th) decile is omitted here because the data for Herefordshire is unreliable.


Last updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018