Labour market and earnings

Wage indexQ4 2005, preliminary figures


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Wage index
Topic: Labour market and earnings

Responsible division

Division for Income and Wage Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Monthly earnings

Gross monthly earnings. Includes basic salaries, variable additional allowances and bonuses. Overtime pay is not included.

Basic monthly salary

Basic monthly salary is the actual payment at the time of the census, and is often described as salary on a scale or regular basic wage. Qualification/skills allowances and other regular personal allowances are included. Wages or salaries can be paid per hour, week, fortnight or month.

More about the terms: http://www.ssb.no/en/arbeid-og-lonn/wage-terms

Standard classifications

From 1st quarter 2009 the industrial classification in the Wage Index is defined by economic activities according to Standard Industrial Classification SIC2007 , which is in accordance with the EUs new NACE Rev. 2.

Administrative information

Regional level

National level

Frequency and timeliness

The index is released on a quarterly basis, no more than 60 days after the end of the quarter

International reporting




Statistics Norway maintains computer files where the raw wage data from all sources are compiled.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the index is to show changes in average monthly earnings and basic salaries throughout the year.

From 1st quarter 2009 Statistics Norway has introduced a new version of Norwegian industry classification (SIC2007). This new classification provides a more suitable and updated description of the activity concerning both the private and public sectors, with more focus on service industries.

The early time series of wage index for the period from 1st quarter 2000 to 4th quarter 2008 is recalculated based on SIC2007. Time serie in accordance with SIC2002 will not be published as of January/first quarter of 2009, but will be available in StatBank  (table 03633).

From the 1st quarter of 2009 the reference value is based on the average of the quarters in 2005, so that 2005=100.

Users and applications

The statistics are used in Statistics Norway's national accounts and in monitoring the economy. It is also used in other indices produced by Statistics Norway. The wage indices are furthermore used by business and industry to adjust contracts and in wage negotiations. Other major users or applications are employee and employer organizations, the media, Eurostat and the IMF.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The quarterly wage index is closely tied with annual statistics on wages. The structural statistics on wages are in keeping with Council regulation (EU) no. 530/1999 of 9 March 1999 concerning statistics on wages and labour costs. The wage concepts on which the two index series are based (basic salaries and average monthly earnings) are identical with wage concepts used in annual statistics on wages. Changes in basic salaries are directly comparable between the two statistics. Changes in monthly earnings are, however, not directly comparable. The reason for this is that irregular payments and bonuses are estimated as an average over the year in the annual statistics while in the quarterly wage index the average of the aggregates is estimated for only the current quarter. Thus the timing of disbursement influences the index and might therefore be subject to greater fluctuations between the quarters.

The index values are comparable only within the same version of Standard Industrial Classification.

Preliminary indexes are final when the annual statistics for each industry is released.

Legal authority

Statistics Act

EEA reference

Council Regulation 530/1999 of 9 March 1999



The wage index covers changes in wages of full-time employees in sections from B to S (except K and O) in accordance with the new version of Norwegian industry classification (SIC2007) which is implemented from the 1st quarter of 2009. .

Data sources and sampling

Until 2015:

Data are collected electronic from companies covered by the quarterly sample. Information is obtained on basic salaries, bonuses, irregular payments and working hours of individual employees of the company. Overtime payment is not included in the statistics.

The index is compiled on the basis of reports from a representative sample of enterprises grouped according to employment and industry. The sample of the quarterly statistics is drawn among enterprises that are included in the annual wage statistics. Enterprises with less than 3 to 10 employees, depending on the industry, are not included in the sample. Each year around 25 per cent of the small and medium-sized enterprises are replaced with new ones.

From 2015:

The statistics is based on data from a-meldingen. More about a-meldingen:https://www.altinn.no/en/a-ordningen/

In the construction sector, sampling is made according to specific divisions by industry to ensure information for the building cost index and consumer price index. In the transport and communications section extra units are sampled to ensure their use in the lorry cost index, cost index for passenger land transport and cost index for domestic sea transport.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Until 2015:

The data for the wage indices are collected quarterly. The census dates are 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December each year.

The statistical material collected from the sample represents the average wage level in the population, and the material must therefore be weighted. Weighting in the wage statistics is based on inverse sampling probability during post stratification according to industry and employment at the time of the census. The weights are adjusted for any bias as a result of non-response. The primary objective of the weighting is to achieve a grossing up of the sample so that the units in the sample receive relative significance in keeping with what is reflected in the population.

From 2015:

The statistics is based on monthly data on wages and salaries from a-meldingen. The sencus dates are February, May, August and November for basic salaries. Variable irregular payments and bonuses are computed as an average for the current quarter.

Quality control and editing of the quarterly statistics takes place in several stages, with most of the operations automatic both with respect to the actual control and consequent correction. When the reported data are received essential variables are controlled. Quality control of the wage data continues before and after registration.

The index for basic salaries measure changes in basic salaries by the the quarters. The index does not take into account when the wage settlement is valid from, but measure changes in wage as it has been reported during the census date.

The index for average monthly earnings includes basic salaries, irregular payments and bonuses. Variable irregular payments and bonuses are computed as an average for the current quarter, thus the timing of disbursement influences the index and might therefore be subject to greater fluctuations between the quarters.

The two wage indices should not be used directly to estimated annual earnings, since it often need to be supplemented with other information about the wage development.

Structural changes in the sections affect the wage indices. How many people and whom steps in and out of the employment market, changes in employment situation between sectors and changes in working time will affect the development of wages. 


Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


According to Statistics Act Section 2-6, figures shall not be published in such a way that they may be traced to a particular respondent.

Comparability over time and space

The statistics are comparable back to first quarter 2000.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Measurement errors mainly occur when respondents misinterpret and report the data with errors.

Processing errors occur mainly during registration of the data.

Unit non-response in wage indicies is between 2  and 3 per cent. The main reason for non-response is that the enterprise no longer has employees as a result of a closure, sale or take-over by another owner, bankruptcy or merger in the time between the selection of the sample and the census date. A handful report late and are not included in the statistics.

Partial non-response in several of the items collected and used in wage indicies can often be calculated logically based on the other data given, or be imputed from previous years. Observations are also discarded due to missing information and/or incorrect values for the variables.

Register errors may occure in information about the industry and/or sector.

From 2015 the statistics is based on data from a-meldingen. Here also, observations can be discarded due to missing information and/or incorrect values for the variables.


Preliminary indices will be revised to final figures when the annual statistics for each industry is released.