Earnings and Employees Study 2011 - Northern Ireland

The Earnings and Employees Study 2011 links together variables from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2011 with variables from the Census of Population and Housing 2011, and Capital Value data from the Land and Property Services.

The ASHE 2011 sample comprises approximately 1% of all employees in Northern Ireland who were covered by Pay As You Earn schemes. The Earnings and Employees Study 2011 contains 5,770 distinct ASHE records which have been linked to census records.

The dataset takes the form of one pre-linked table. It was developed by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Component datasets and linkage

The Earnings and Employees Study 2011 includes data from the 2011 Northern Ireland Census of Population and Households and data from the Northern Ireland ASHE 2011. The linkage process was conducted by the Trusted Third Party team located within the Census Office in NISRA. The ASHE records were linked to census records using a ‘rules based’ or deterministic approach involving match-keys. A series of match-keys were developed; the strongest level of linking is exact linking, which links pairs of records that are identical on all linking fields. The match-keys were processed in a stepwise manner starting with the most exact match-key and working down to the last match-key. In addition, work was carried out to link the remaining unmatched ASHE individuals to census individuals with similar characteristics. NISRA intends to develop an Earnings and Employees Study 2021 linking variables from the 2021 Census of Population and Housing with ASHE 2021 data.

Timeframe 2011
Update Frequency 10 years
Population Approximately 1% of all employees in Northern Ireland who were covered by Pay As You Earn (PAYE) schemes.
Coverage Northern Ireland
Size 5,770 records
Earnings and Employees Study 2011 - Northern Ireland


Examples of research questions

  • What factors influence variations in median pay?
  • What are the disparities in pay between public sector and private sector jobs?
  • How does geography and location affect pay?

Core documentation

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User guide

See Earnings and Employees Study 2011 metadata for further background information.

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Data dictionary

See the Earnings and Employees Study 2011 variables list.



Other supporting resources

Resource Description
Synthetic data Available for this dataset on request. Please contact rsu@nisra.gov.uk.
Information session Slides from the Earnings and Employees Study 2011 information session.
Trusted Third Party Linkage Report Detail on the matching process.


Published research using the data

  • Data Explained and Data Insight on using EES 2011 to estimate Catholic-Protestant wage differentials in Northern Ireland as of 2011.
  • Data Explained and Data Insight on using EES 2011 to assess the degree to which providing unpaid care in Northern Ireland negatively impacts on employment and earnings.

Accessing the data

Access to the dataset is limited to researchers with accredited researcher status under the Digital Economy Act. Accredited researchers can apply for project approval by each of the data providers and the UK Statistics Authority Research Accreditation Panel.

Further information on how to apply for approval is available on the NISRA Research Support Unit page.

Earnings and Employees Study data held by NISRA Research Support Unit can be accessed through either the NISRA Secure Environment in Colby House or via the ONS Secure Research Service.

View further details and apply for access using the information on the ADR UK Data Catalogue.

View Earnings and Employees Study 2011

Information about policy research priorities

There are a number of potential Earnings and Employees Study research themes of relevance to policy development and monitoring in Northern Ireland. These include, but are not limited to, factors influencing variation in median pay, graduates and the workplace, disparity in pay and migration, public versus private jobs, and geography and pay.