Labour price index

What does the survey comprise?


This price index reflects labour price developments, i.e. the development of wage costs per hour worked by employees, corrected for changes in the personnel structure.

Target population

Jobs of employees working in the Netherlands.

Statistical unit

Wage costs per hour worked.

Year survey started



Quarterly, but figures for the period 2001-2006 are only available on an annual basis. The results refer to rolling years (periods of twelve months).

Publication strategy

The first results are released three to four months after the end of the reference period. After one quarter, the results are adjusted. Subsequently, new data are published when more recent data on education level or new annual figures from the Labour Accounts concerning compensation and the amount of hours worked become available. Definite data over the year t are published in the summer of the year t+3.

How is the survey conducted?

Survey type


Survey method

The labour price index is based on various databases Statistics Netherlands has access to. The main source is the monthly insurance policy administration database on wages and social contributions from the Institute for Implementation of Employees’ Insurances (UWV). For the period 2001-2006, job data from the Social Statistical Database (SSD) were used instead. These integral databases with information on wages and working hours per job are supplemented with data about contributions to pension schemes, etc. and data on the highest level of education of employees. Thus, information becomes available on wage costs and working hours of employees. Subsequently, these figures are made consistent with the results presented in the Labour Accounts.

The index is calculated by weighing together the results regarding wage cost developments per hour worked per cell. The weight of the cell is determined by the combination of gender x age group x education level x industrial category x whether or not work with a collective labour agreement.


The UWV provides the monthly insurance policy administration data. Data on contributions to pension schemes, etc. are obtained from the statistics on index figures of collectively negotiated wages. Data about the highest level of education are based on the SSD.

Sample size

The insurance policy administration comprise data on all jobs of employees in the Netherlands. Data on education level are available for almost half of all employees.

Checking and correction methods

Statistics Netherlands conducts plausibility checks on data from the insurance policy administration. If necessary, the data will be adjusted.


Data for jobs of employees, of whom the education level is known are weighted against the results for all jobs. These figures are also made consistent with the figures of the Labour Accounts. Because the change in labour cost is weighted per cell, the structure-free labour price index is corrected for changes in the personnel structure.

Quality of the results


As provisional data on education level and Labour Account results are used to obtain the most recent figures, definite figures may vary from figures published earlier.

Sequential comparability

The figures are made consistent with the figures from the Labour Accounts, which constitute a series comparable over time.

Quality strategy

The basic data of the labour price index are made consistent with data from the Labour Accounts. In the Labour Accounts, much attention is paid to the quality of the results. This strategy also has a positive effect on the results of the labour price index.