Earnings and hours of work
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 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 – all people who live in Herefordshire including those who work outside the county.
This analysis looks at median gross weekly pay (£/week) of fulltime 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.
Figure 1: Weekly earnings
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).
Annualised 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.
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.
Figure 2: Earnings gap in 2018*
In 2018, Herefordshire’s earnings were 14% lower than in the West Midlands region and 20% 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% 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% 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 3: Weekly earnings for Herefordshire, the West Midlands region and England, 2006 to 2018.
Source: ASHE 2017* provisional, ONS—Crown Copyright
Looking at ASHE, the range of earnings between the 2nd and 8th deciles 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.
Figure 4: Range of weekly earnings for Herefordshire, the West Midlands region and England, broken down by decile.
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% lower than men’s earnings) was smaller than in the West Midlands region and in England (10%).
Figure 5: Gender pay gap in Herefordshire in 2018.
The median of total paid hours worked 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.