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Wages (Principal Industries)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, taking the 12 chief industries of the country, including transport, he will state the average weekly wage-rate in each case now as compared with June, 1921, June, 1920, June, 1919, and June, 1914, respectively?

I regret that the information in my possession is insufficient to enable me to give particulars as to the average weekly wage-rate in the 12 principal industries. Some alterna- tive particulars are available, however, as to the comparative level of wages in a number of the principal industries at the dates referred to, and as these involve a tabular statement, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Industry.Rates of Wages at—
July, 1914.July, 1919.June, 1920.June, 1921.June, 1922.
Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.
Building (a) (40 large towns):
Bricklayers40s. 7d.75s. 6d.97s. 8d.93s. 8d.71s. 10d.
Painters36s. 3d.72s. 8d.95s. 2d.93s. 8d.71s. 9d.
Labourers26s. 11d.61s. 4d.84s. 8d.80s. 7d.54s. 1d.
Engineering (a) (16 of the principal districts):
Fitters and Turners38s. 11d.77s. 0d.89s. 5d.89s. 3d.72s. 9d.
Labourers22s. 10d.58s. 3d.70s. 8d.70s. 6d.55s. 8d.
Shipbuilding (a) (13 of the principal districts):
Shipwrights (e)41s. 4d.78s. 10d.91s. 3d.84s. 10d.58s. 7d.
Ship Joiners (e)40s. 0d.77s. 10d.102s. 4d.94s. 7d.60s. 5d.
Labourers (e)22s. 10d.58s. 0d.70s. 6d.64s. 0d.40s. 1d.
Railway Service:
Engine Drivers (c)45s. to 50s.(b)78s. to 83s.84s. to 102s.85s. to 103s.72s. to 90s.
Ticket Collectors23s. to 27s.(b)56s. to 60s.66s. 6d. to 74s.67s. 6d. to 75s.54s.6d. to 62s
Goods Porters19s. to 23s.(b)52s. to 56s.62s, to 68s. 6d63s. to 69s. 6d.50s. to 56s. 6d
Dock Labour (10 of the principal ports):
Ordinary cargo workers4s. 6d. to 6s. 8d. per day.5s. 10d. to 7s. per half day.15s. to 17s. 6d. per day.15s. to 17s. 6d. per day.11s. to 13s. 6d per day.
Shipping (d) (Foreign-going vessels):Per month.Per month.Per month.Per month.Per month.
Able seamen£5 to £5 10s.£14 10s.£14 10s£12£10
Firemen£510s, to £6£15£15£12 10s.£10 10s.
Road Transport (a):Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.
Tram Drivers (50 of the principal districts).30s. 7d.60s. 3d.73s. 3d.73s. 3d.63s. 3d.
One-horse Carters (12 large towns).25s. 7d.56s.65s.66s. 1d.57s. 2d.
Printing (a) 27 large towns:35s. 8d.69s. 6d.88s. 0d.93s. 4d.86s. 2d.
Hand Compositors and Machine Minders on Book and Jobbing Work.
Bookbinders and Machine Rulers.33s. 11d.69s. 4d.87s. 6d.93s. 4d.86s. 6d.
Agriculture (England and Wales):
Ordinary Labourers14s. to 228.(b)36s. 6d. to 42s. 6d42s. to 146s. 6d.46s. to 52s.30s. to 36s.
(a) The rates quoted are the unweighted averages of the recognised rates of wages in the principal towns or districts.
(b) Approximate figures.
(c) Some of the drivers are paid mileage allowances in addition to the rates shown.
(d) Food is provided in addition to the rates quoted.
(e) The figures for the Shipbuilding industry relate to time-workers. A large proportion of the workpeople in this industry, however, are paid at piece rates, and the figures given are not applicable to piece-workers.

Will the hon. Gentleman place opposite that statement the comparative cost of living from the year 1914 down to last year.

Following is the statement promised:

Industry.General (h) increase in piece rates of wages over the pre-war level.
June, 1919.June, 1920.June, 1921.June, 1922.
Coal Mining (f)(Adult Workers).28 to 47per cent (in different districts), plus 5s per shift.28 to 47 per cent. plus 20 percent on the total. plus 5s per shift.28 to 47 per cent., plus 20 percent. On the total, plus 3s. to 3s. 7d. per shift (in different districts).20 to 49½ percent. (in different districts.)
Cotton Industry (g)110 per cent. on basic wage rates.210 per cent on basic wage rates.150 per cent. on. Basic wages rates.100 per cent. on basic wage rates.
Wool Textile Industry (Yorkshire) (f)
Timeworkers107 per cent.145 per cent17·25 per cent.103·57 per cent.
Pieceworkers (Males)85¾ per cent.118 per cent.143·25 per cent.86·5 per cent.
Pieceworkers (Females)91 per cent.124¾ per cent.150 per cent.90·75 per cent.
(f) In addition, piece rates of wages were increased in 1919, when the normal weekly working hours were reduced, in such proportion as to prevent any reduction in weekly earnings resulting from the reduction in the working hours.
(g) The figures for the cotton industry for June, 1920, 1921 and 1922 include a special advance granted in July, 1919, when the weekly hours were reduced from 55½ to 48, in order to maintain the weekly wages at the same level as before the reduction in hours. In July, 1914, wages were 5 per cent. above basic list rates, and to obtain the total percentage over list rates at any date this figure should be added to those given in the Table. The figure for June, 1921, relates to the end of the month, after a reduction which took effect in June.
(h) In addition, special advances have been granted to certain classes of workpeople in some districts.