The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is a new survey that has been developed to replace the
New Earnings Survey (NES). The ASHE includes improvements to the coverage of employees and to the
weighting of earnings estimates. The data variables collected remain broadly the same, although an improved
questionnaire will be introduced for the 2005 survey. The change in methodology means that statistics on pay
and hours published from the ASHE, including the calculation of ONS's low pay statistics, are discontinuous
with previous NES surveys.

To improve coverage and make the survey more representative, supplementary information was collected for the
2004 ASHE survey on businesses not registered for VAT and for people who changed or started new jobs between
sample selection and the survey reference period. The 2004 ASHE results are therefore discontinuous with the
results for 2003, for which no supplementary information was collected. However, for 2004 two sets of results are
available; the headline results that include supplementary information and results that exclude this information.
These second set of results are given solely for comparison to earlier results. Growth rates between 2004 and
2003 should only be calculated using data that exclude supplementary information