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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. 

Key points:

  • In 2018*, the median weekly earnings for people who work in Herefordshire were £461.10 (± £42.48), significantly lower than those in the West Midlands region £536.60 (± £10.52) and England £574.90 (± £1.13).

  • Annualised2 earnings were £24,043 (± £2,215) also significantly lower than the West Midlands region, £27,980 (± £548) and England £29,977(± £59). Weekly earnings for residents were £486.20 (±45.74), significantly lower compared to England although the difference was not significant compared with the West Midlands region.
Figure 1: Herefordshire's weekly earnings 2018

Weekly earning 2018

  • HMRC data for taxpayers shows that the median income from employment was £20,000 in 2015 -16 (the latest available) compared to £20,800 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 £12,300 compared to £12,600 across the West Midlands, although the difference was not statistically significant.  
  • In 2018, Herefordshire’s earnings were 14 per cent lower than in the West Midlands region and 20 per cent lower than in England. The gap between Herefordshire's earnings and those in the West Midlands region and England remained unchanged over the last 3 years. Herefordshire’s weekly earnings have grown by 18 per cent during the last decade, since the recession has been declared in 2008. The regional and national weekly earnings show a similar growth (19 and 20 per cent respectively).

  • Herefordshire has the lowest median earnings of all 14 West Midlands authorities as has been the case for the past six years. Earnings are also lower than in Monmouthshire, Powys and Gloucestershire and the lowest out of the nearest neighbour grouping of local authorities. In fact Herefordshire is one of the ten unitary authorities with the lowest median earnings in 2018 (the eighth lowest).

Figure 2: Earnings gap 2018

 Earnings gap 2018

 Chart 1.  Weekly earnings for Herefordshire, the West Midlands and England, 2006 to 2018 
Weekly earnings -trend

Source: ASHE 2018, 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 2018

Source: ASHE 2018, ONS—Crown Copyright

Gender pay gap (GPG) is the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men. In 2018 Herefordshire gender pay gap (women’s earnings were 3 per cent lower than men’s earnings) was smaller than in the West Midlands region and in England (10 per cent).

Figure 3: Gender pay gap in Herefordshire in 2018

 Gender pay gap 2018

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. 

*2018 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: Monday, January 14, 2019