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Volume 939: debated on Friday 25 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how he calculates average industrial earnings; and what is the average Service man's earnings.

Average earnings in industry can be compiled on a number of different definitions. One frequently used is that of average gross weekly earnings of men aged 21 and over, employed on a full-time basis, in manual occupations, in manufacturing industries, and including those men paid for only part of the working week. Estimates of this kind are available for April each year from the New Earnings Survey—Great Britain—and for October from the Department's regular—United Kingdom—survey of manual workers in these industries. The averages are calculated first for individual industries, by dividing the total gross amount paid—before PAYE, national insurance and other deductions—by the number of men receiving payment. These industry figures are then combined using appropriate weights to give overall averages.

Some variations on the above definition are to extend the coverage to include other production industries—for example, mining or construction—or to exclude men paid for only part of the week, or to include non-manual workers, or to calculate, in addition, figures relating to women. All these variations can be calculated using data from the New Earnings Survey.

I understand that general averages of earnings of Service men are not kept by the Ministry of Defence.