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Average V Median wage Ireland?

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  • #2


    Benedict,

    you may be interested to know that Eurostat publish median annual earnings data for FT workers.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/labour-market/earnings/database

    In 2018, the figure is 40,074.
    EARN_SES_ANNUAL

    There you go, there is the figure you wanted.


  • #2


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    They can’t disclose, there is a thing called GDPR. It protects people’s privacy so no you are never getting access to people tax information.

    Revenue provide earnings data to the CSO.

    See here:

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eaads/earningsanalysisusingadministrativedatasources2018/


    The Earnings Analysis using Administrative Data Sources (EAADS) publication presents earnings statistics compiled based on administrative data sources for the period 2011 to 2018. The primary data source is the Revenue Commissioner’s P35L dataset of employee annual earnings. This is linked to CSO's Business Register and other data to provide economic and demographic breakdowns of employee earnings in Ireland. Please refer to the background notes of this publication for further information on the data sources utilised and how they were matched.


  • #2


    We can now compare the 2018 mean annual earnings from the CSO with the median annual earnings from Eurostat.

    All for FT workers.

    2018 CSO mean = 47,596

    2018 Eurostat mean = 49,790
    2018 Eurostat median = 40,074


    Eurostat covers these sectors:
    [B-S_X_O] Industry, construction and services (except public administration, defense, compulsory social security)


  • #2


    Geuze's link https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpub...tasources2018/ finally shows the median wage for ft workers in Ireland. The figure is for 2018 but it shows that the median is available. See copied & pasted below from CSO.

    "Total median annual earnings were €36,095 in 2018"

    The background notes show that it refers to ft workers.

    This is what the "average person" earned and it sure as hell hadn't jumped to 47k by '20 - or 49k in '21.

    (ie the "average person" with a ft job - which many people don't have. The median income would be much lower if it included unemployed, retired and part-time etc.)


  • #2


    Benedict,

    the CSO Earnings Analysis using Administrative Data Sources 2018 does not refer to FT workers, where are you seeing that?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eaads/earningsanalysisusingadministrativedatasources2018/

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eaads/earningsanalysisusingadministrativedatasources2018/backgroundnotes/

    Look at the section on Annual Earnings, I see no mention of FT/PT?

    I see everything else: age/sex/county/sector, etc., but not full-time/part-time.


  • #2


    Geuze wrote: »
    Benedict,

    the CSO Earnings Analysis using Administrative Data Sources 2018 does not refer to FT workers, where are you seeing that?

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eaads/earningsanalysisusingadministrativedatasources2018/

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-eaads/earningsanalysisusingadministrativedatasources2018/backgroundnotes/

    Look at the section on Annual Earnings, I see no mention of FT/PT?

    I see everything else: age/sex/county/sector, etc., but not full-time/part-time.


    I noticed under exclusions it said "employments where the duration was less than two weeks in the year." I took this to mean full time but yes, I see what you mean, one could work 50 weeks part time?

    If it does include part time, then if X works 1 hour per week for 50 weeks in the year, his few quid would be factored into the "median" figure?

    This means that median figure quoted by CSO actually means nothing - so we are back to where we started.


  • #2


    Benedict,

    notice in the CSO Earnings Analysis using Administrative Data Sources 2018 that they refer to employments.

    Many people have more than one employment, bear that in mind.

    I used to have two employments for several years.

    My retired father has a pension, but in some years he also has two employments.

    Life is not simple.



    Regarding your previous post, see this:

    Exclusion of employees from earnings data:

    For the purposes of this analysis the CSO excluded employees earning less than €500 per annum and employments where the duration was less than two weeks in the year. Also excluded were secondary employments earning less than €4,000 per annum, extremely high earnings values and missing employer and employee reference numbers. Employment activity in NACE sectors A, T and U has also been excluded from the analysis.


  • #2


    Benedict wrote: »
    I noticed under exclusions it said "employments where the duration was less than two weeks in the year." I took this to mean full time but yes, I see what you mean, one could work 50 weeks part time?

    If it does include part time, then if X works 1 hour per week for 50 weeks in the year, his few quid would be factored into the "median" figure?

    This means that median figure quoted by CSO actually means nothing - so we are back to where we started.

    If somebody has low annual earnings, it doesn't affect the median.

    That is the main advantage of the median over the mean.

    The median is not affected by outliers.



    If you are asking, is somebody who earns 100 per week / 5,000 per year, included in these stats, then the answer is yes.

    They are included, and so they pull down the mean annual earnings.

    They do not have any direct effect on the median.

    But they are included in all the data used to calculate the median, because the median here is across ALL workers.


  • #2


    Benedict wrote: »
    I noticed under exclusions it said "employments where the duration was less than two weeks in the year." I took this to mean full time but yes, I see what you mean, one could work 50 weeks part time?

    If it does include part time, then if X works 1 hour per week for 50 weeks in the year, his few quid would be factored into the "median" figure?

    This means that median figure quoted by CSO actually means nothing - so we are back to where we started.
    It doesn't mean nothing. It's not the answer to the question you're asking, but that doesn't make it meaningless.


  • #2


    It may well be the case that Revenue cannot disclose salary details of individuals due to GDPR restrictions. But that would not prevent them from handing over anonymous statistics. If GDPR prevented them from handing over any information on earnings - even anonymous information - to the CSO, then the CSO would know practically nothing.



  • #2


    Are you ever going to give up? How could an earnings series include retired and unemployed? By the way, Eurostat do not carry out surveys. Their figures come from a survey carried out by CSO.



  • #2


    With respect, it's not clear to me how your contribution relates to anything I've said? I'm not talking about pensions or Eurostat?

    Two things are required to calculate a median ft wage. (1) The number of people in ft employment, (2) How much each of them is earning (just a statistic, no ID needed). For the "average" to be known, (1) must be known. Revenue must know the answer to (2) and giving figures to CSO without ID does not breach any privacy rules.

    So what's the problem?



  • #2


    From a calculation point of view, the problem is that Revenue knows how much each person is earning, but it doesn't know whether each person is a full-time worker or not. To calculate the median earnings for full-time workers you'd have to (1) take the Revenue dataset for all earners; (2) drop the data points relating to earners who are not full-time workers; and (3) calculate the median from the remaining dataset, which would represent full-time workers only. Neither Revenue nor CSO have the information they would need to complete step (2); simply knowing the total number of full-time workers is not enough to do this.

    In reality, that's not in fact how median earnings are calculated in the real world. Where it's done, I think it's mostly done by stratified sampling of household surveys - as in, you interview a number (i.e. several thousand) of households in detail, asking them questions about all the things you're interested in, including in this context (a) whether the adult members of the household work full-time; and (b ) how much they earn. If you're being thorough, you check this by looking at their payslips, etc, rather than relying on their own estimation of whether they work full-time and how much they earn. You then statistically weight the results to reflect the demographics of the entire country. And from that you can calculate a median.

    It's not perfect, but it's close enough to give you a meaningful and useful figure. But it's a lot of work and, therefore, expense.

    The CSO does household surveys three or four times a year. Each survey would cover, say, 13,000 or 14,000 housholds - maybe 40,000 people? There'll be a standard set of question that are asked every time - age, sex, education levels, that kind of thing. This enables them to know how much the sample of households they are studying matches or differs from the demographics of the community at large, which means they can weight the responses to extrapolate what they learn from the survey to the whole country.

    They they'll ask the questions that they are actually studying. This will differ each time. It's usually co-ordinated with the questions being asked in similar household surveys by other national statistical agencies in the EU, so that EU as well as national data can be obtained, and so that Irish data can be meaningfully compared with similar data from other EU countries. Each time there's a particular focus - it might be on eliciting household data about health and healthcare, of financial consumption, or lifestyle, or . . . well, anything.

    It seems to me that what you need is to persuade the CSO (and other EU statistical agencies) that there should be a focus on employment and earnings, so that they will ask questions from which median full-time earnings could be calculated. But you'll need to persuade them that there's a public policy need for this - that the data will be useful for government planning, policymaking and policy delivery.



  • #2


    According to CSO, the total number of ft workers in 2020 was 1,818,300. (Quote from CSO: "There were 1,818,300 persons in full-time employment in 2020 while the corresponding number for part-time employment was 404,200. Full-time employment accounted for just over 80% (81.8%) of total employment in 2020."). For the CSO to be able to claim that there are 1,818,300 ft workers, and that the total earnings of that ft cohort is X. Then they must know - at least approximately, what each of the ft workers earns.

    If there are 10 ft workers living on Anywhere Road then in order to say definitively what the total ft earnings is, I must know what each is earning (or have access to that figure calculated by another reliable source.)

    The total amount earned by the 1,818,300 persons in full-time is known. Revenue must know - at least approx - how that breaks down. The notion that a business employing 1000 workers just state the total gross earnings the business and tells Rev. to mind its own business as to who's earning what, cannot be the case. Rev must have knowledge of individuals and clearly, if CSO can say how many in the country are ft, then that figure is known and with skilled staff and powerful computers available to government, the median ft should be available.

    Any total number must calculated on individual numbers. You cannot say the total earnings of the ft workers in Anywhere Road is 100k if you don't know what each is earning. Otherwise, how could you be confident that your total is correct.

    Post edited by Benedict on


  • #2


    Per Benedict: Any total number must calculated on individual numbers. You cannot say the total earnings of the ft workers in Anywhere Road is 100k if you don't know what each is earning. Otherwise, how could you be confident that your total is correct.


    I don't know about the current situation but, in the past, CSO surveys asked employers to report aggregate total earnings, not individual earnings so above point was wrong then.



  • #2


    I don't know what info CSO request but what I do know is that if Company X has 1000 properly documented employees, then Revenue know what each is earning. Revenue deal with each individual. We know from CSO themselves that the number of ft workers is available, we know from Leo that the total amount earned by ft workers is available to him and we know that Revenue MUST know what each properly documented ft employee is earning.

    So, I hope you will now agree that the median ft wage can be calculated.

    So what's the problem?



  • #2


    Just to recap:

    (1) Total number of ft workers is known by CSO to be 1,818,300

    (2) Total gross Euro earned by ft workers is known.

    (3) Total amount earned by ft workers can only be known through totting up what individual ft workers earn. So it is also known.

    Therefore, calculating the median ft wage should be a matter of pressing a few keys on a keyboard.

    So, next election? If any politician is proudly using the average wage to suggest what the "average person" is earning, he/should add that most people don't earn anything like 49k per annum.



  • #2


    Not doubting you, but can you explain how (2) the total gross euro earned by ft workers is known? (As in, what makes you so sure that it is known? Who publishes this figure? Where?)



  • #2


    In order to calculate the "average" gross ft wages, the total gross ft wages must be known.

    For Leo (or his team) to calculate that the "average" in 2020 was 47k, the total and the number of ft workers must have been known.

    Also remember that the CSO have published total number of ft workers - so they must know who these workers are and they will also know what they earn. So finding the total gross amount earned by ft workers is just a totting up excercise - as is calculating the median.

    The total earned by ft workers can only be calculated by totting-up the wages of each ft worker. How else could they know the total? By reading the tea-leaves?



  • #2


    You don't need to know total gross FT wages if you're finding average gross FT wage by stratified sampling, as described above.

    Similarly, CSO may know the total number of FT workers without knowing who those workers are (and, therefore, without knowing what they earn). For example, the number of FT workers may be derived from surveying employers.



  • #2


    The fact is that CSO already know the number of ft employees. They publish the exact figure. They don't get that figure by phoning employers and saying "How many have you got working on the farm?" or dropping into a supermarket in Kerry and counting the staff. They know it because there is paperwork linked to each of the ft employees. The paperwork will also show how much they earn.

    That's all you need for both an average and a median ft wage.



  • #2


    They don't get their employment figure the way you suggest. As has been posted above, they get it from the regular quarterly national household survey, a survey of a sample of households.



  • #2


    What is this "paperwork linked to each of the FT employees" that the CSO have, or have access do? It can't be Revenue records because, even if the CSO had free run of the Revenue system - which they don't - Revenue records don't distinguish between FT workers and other workers. So it must be something else. What is it?



  • #2


    Look, let's get down to basics and work out way upwards.

    The CSO know exactly how many ft workers there are. So clearly, there must be documentary evidence of these individuals. So it is known, for example, that Sean Smith is a ft worker. It can only be known that Sean is a ft worker because there is documentation on Sean. And because Sean is documented as a worker, his income must be known by Revenue. So the documented link between Sean and his income exists.

    And the same can be said for every documented ft worker.

    How do you suppose that the exact number of ft workers is known without knowing who they are?



  • #2


    Because the total is estimated from a household sample survey - not a fully documented list of all of them.



  • #2


    Most people I know would be on about 40k, give or take. Friend in IT would be on well north of 100k, another friend is self employed and told me he took 300k from his company in 2019. It's easy to skew the average figure.



  • #2


    The number of ft workers is known.

    What each of them earns is known.

    Therefore, the median ft wage should be available.



  • #2


    Is it known what each FT worker earns? Does Revenue know if someone is PT or FT? If not, then all you could get is a median for all workers.



  • #2


    The CSO know how many ft workers there are so they must know who they are - or be given the figure by someone who does. So the identity of the ft workers is known and also how much they earn is known by Rev.

    It may be that the CSO know who the ft workers are but not how much they earn and the Rev know how much they earn but not if they're ft.

    But if the CSO do not get the number of ft workers from Rev. then where do they get it? The didn't pluck the exact figure of 1,818,300 out of the air?



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