There is a vast array of academic research on wages and employment. However, this project will help to answer some of the research questions that academics and policy analysts have not been able to answer fully by using only one data source.

The kinds of questions to which we expect the linked data to contribute are as follows:

  • What is the extent and nature of wage progression or wage stagnation in the UK?
  • To what extent do firms differ in their propensity to pay, retain and promote similar employees?
  • How much do personal characteristics (such as gender, ethnicity, age or disability) matter for wage progression – both individually and cumulatively?
  • How important is occupational choice for individuals with similar skills?
  • What are the returns to education over the working lifetime?
  • How does the tax/benefit and pension system affect work decisions and in-work progression?
  • What long-term trends do we see in the labour market?

We expect that the development of an integrated, longitudinal research resource of the type that we envisage would transform labour market research in the UK, providing fertile ground for innovative academic papers, PhDs and other research. The UK currently lags behind other countries in its ability to carry out holistic analysis on individuals across income sources and over time; this project aims to go some way towards redressing the balance.

Data documentation, including code, will be delivered to the ONS SRS team to hold, distribute (including to UKDA) and maintain. Academics and other users will have the right to re-use documentation, including code, without restriction but with appropriate attribution.