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New ONS figures reveal how much UK workers are worth

New ONS figures reveal how much UK workers are worth

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures for 'employed human capital' in the UK, which is the total estimated future earnings of everyone in jobs in the country.

The data shows that the value of employed human capital increased in 2014 to reach £18.22tn.


The 2014 increase came after flat figures from 2011 to 2013, equating to an estimated £448,358 per person of working age (16 - 64) in the UK. This is a rise of £4,623 on the previous year.

The overall total is made up of £11.4tn for men and £6.82tn for women, a gender pay gap that is in some part due to women spending less time in paid employment.

A wider metric including unemployed people is known as 'full human capital' and was £0.79tn higher than employed human capital in 2014, standing at £18.95tn.

Mixed data

The ONS defines the idea of the different human capital figures as taking into account “individuals’ skills, knowledge, abilities, social attributes, personality and health attributes”.

These factors all play a part in an individual's ability to work and are used to calculate their economic value. 

The reasoning behind the estimates is that they help identify important trends such as the likely trajectory that will occur over someone's lifetime.

An example is that low qualification levels or limited access to education will result in a higher probability of unemployment or low pay during a working life. Those educated to degree level currently provide 36.1% of employed human capital although they make up only 27% of the overall population.

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