All accounted for: The case for an ‘all-worker’ earnings measure

The measures that we use to track earnings miss out the one in seven workers who is self-employed. Given continually rising self-employment and our knowledge that their earnings have taken a big hit in recent years, this briefing estimates what our most regular measure of earnings would look like with the self-employed included.

Our more concrete estimates are dated and our figures for the most recent years are very speculative, but what we have shown here is as clear-a picture as we can get of the earnings of all workers given the absence of proper data. As such, this estimate shouldn’t be taken as a ‘true’ reflection of earnings across the workforce – it isn’t. Rather, it is an informed provocation to think about what we measure and how we use the results.