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Volume 928: debated on Friday 25 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of women working full time earn less than (a) £30, (b) £40, (c) £50, and (d) £60 per week; and how many and what percentage earn more than the national average for male workers.

the EEC countries expressed in £ sterling at the latest date for which figures are available and compare these with similar figures for 1958 for all nine countries.

The following table gives the average gross hourly earnings of manual workers in industry in each of the EEC countries at October 1964 and October 1975, the earliest and latest dates respectively for which comparable information is available. The earnings are expressed in pounds sterling and have been converted on the basis of foreign exchange rates prevailing in October 1964 and October 1975. The comparisons are considerably affected by fluctuating market exchange rates and to a lesser extent by the differences in the way countries compile the data.

The most recent estimates relate to April 1976. The New Earnings Survey indicates that the percentages of women aged 18 and over in full-time employment in Great Britain and whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence, then earning less than £30, £40, £50 and £60 per week, were respectively about 14, 43, 69 and 83 per cent. The figures exclude those who were not members of PAYE schemes. About half a million such women, about 10 per cent. earned more than the average gross weekly earnings—£70·20—of males aged 18 and over.