Latest release

Sources and methods - Annual

Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2020-21 financial year

Benchmark years

11.17    Wages and salaries and employers' social contributions are initially derived at the sector level based primarily on the following data sources:

  • General government – based on the Survey of Employment and Earnings (for wages and salaries) and the Survey of Major Labour Costs (for employers’ social contributions).
  • Non-financial corporations, households and quasi-corporations – based on the Economic Activity Survey.
  • Finance and insurance corporations – based on data from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA); the Survey of Financial Information; and the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey (QBIS).

11.18    These sectoral estimates are then combined to form the total wages and salaries and employers' social contributions, respectively.

11.19    The tables below outline the data sources and methods used in the estimation of the components of compensation of employees in current prices only. Volume estimates are not calculated for compensation of employees.

Table 11.1 Annual compensation of employees - Wages and salaries
ItemComment
Non-financial corporations, Households and NPISH’s
 

The primary data source is the Economic Activity Survey. Data is aggregated to the Supply-Use Industry Classification (SUIC) level. The SUIC aggregation is mostly at the subdivision level of ANZSIC, with some instances at the group or division level.

Estimates for total annual Payments in Kind (PIK) for Australia are derived using the ATO publication, Taxation Statistics for the taxable value of fringe benefits and employee share schemes, as well as the Survey of Major Labour Costs (SMLC) for salary sacrificed benefits not subject to taxation.

The Survey of Employment and Earnings (SEE) and the Economic Activity Survey (EAS) are used to split the PIK estimates between the general government and non-general government sector (all other sectors), and disaggregate the private sector estimates to industry level.

Estimates of wages and salaries in cash and PIK are summed to form the wages and salaries estimates by industry.

Financial corporations
 

For the Finance and Insurance Services industry (ANZSIC Division K), an estimate of financial corporation wages and salaries in cash is obtained from the Survey of Financial Information (SFI); Survey of Employment and Earnings; Economic Activity Survey; and Quarterly Business Indicators Survey; where it is available for each component of this industry. For years where SMLC data are not available, the annual estimate is based on data from APRA, QBIS, SEE and SFI. An estimate for financial corporations PIK is added, as described for non-financial corporations.

For the Auxiliary Finance and Insurance Services industry, an estimate of financial corporation wages and salaries is obtained from the Economic Activity Survey and Survey of Employment and Earnings.

General government
 

A base estimate of general government wages and salaries is obtained from the Survey of Employment and Earnings. To this an estimate for overseas general government staff wages and salaries is added, based on data received from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The estimate is then disaggregated to industry level using weights derived from general government output by industry. An estimate for wages and salaries of defence personnel is obtained from the Department of Defence and, until 1 July 2015 also, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). This estimate is used to replace the value calculated for the Defence industry from the Survey of Employment and Earnings as military personnel are outside the scope of this survey.

Estimates for total annual PIK for Australia are derived using the ATO publication, Taxation Statistics for the taxable value of fringe benefits and employee share schemes, and SMLC data related to salary sacrificed benefits not subject to taxation.

The Survey of Employment and Earnings and Economic Activity Survey are used to split the PIK estimates between the general government sector and the non-general government sector (all other sectors). The estimates for general government wages and salaries and PIK are summed by ANZSIC division, and then further disaggregated to SUIC level, based on weights derived from general government output.

Table 11.2 Annual compensation of employees - Employer social contributions
ItemComment
Non-financial corporations, Households and NPISHs
 Estimates of superannuation contributions and workers’ compensation payments by non-financial corporations, households and NPISH enterprises are obtained from the Economic Activity Survey. The two collected data items are summed together to form employer social contributions (ESC) by industry, which is further aggregated to the SUIC level. The SUIC aggregation is mostly at the subdivision level of ANZSIC, with some instances at the group or division level.
Financial corporations
 An estimate of financial corporations’ ESC is obtained by combining the ESC reported through APRA, the Survey of Financial Information, the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey and the Economic Activity Survey. Where data is unavailable on a certain component of the industry, it is modelled as an appropriate percentage of the applicable wages and salaries estimate.
General government
 

Estimates of superannuation contributions are based on data obtained from Government Finance Statistics and are disaggregated to the ANZSIC division level based on the most recent Survey of Major Labour Costs. Estimates for worker's compensation payments are based on data in the most recent SMLC and, in years where the survey is not conducted, are moved forward based on wages and salaries from the Survey of Employment and Earnings. These two components are summed together to form ESC by ANZSIC Division.

This aggregate is then disaggregated to the industry level using weights of general government output, except for ANZSIC Division O (Public Administration and Safety). An adjustment is made for the Defence Industry to ensure correct coverage and alignment to the annual reports of the Department of Defence, Defence Materiel Organisation, and the administered military compensation schemes contained in the annual report of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Latest year

11.20    Annual estimates for the latest financial year for wages and salaries and employers' social contributions for Australia and by State (State estimates are covered in more detail in the State Accounts chapter), are derived by extrapolating the latest supply and use benchmark (year t-1) using the annualised quarterly movement for that financial year.

11.21    The industry estimates for wages and salaries in the latest year are derived by extrapolating the latest supply and use industry benchmarks (year t-1) using movements in hourly rates from the Wage Price Index in conjunction with QBIS and SEE data. ANZSIC Division O Public Administration and Safety includes defence personnel and staff in Australian embassies and consulates situated overseas.

11.22    The industry estimates of employers' social contributions for the latest year are derived by extrapolating the latest supply and use industry benchmarks (year t-1) using movements in the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE), QBIS and SEE data. The ANZSIC Division O base estimate is derived using movements from the Government Finance Statistics (GFS) general government superannuation and workers’ compensation value.