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Pay

Volume 961: debated on Friday 26 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many women in full-time employment could benefit by the £3·50p a week pay increase allowed in the Government's new pay guidelines; and what percentage this is of the total female work force;(2) how many men in full-time employment could benefit by the E3·50p a week pay increase allowed in the Government's new pay guidelines; and what percentage this is of the total male work force.

, pursuant to the reply of the Under-Secretary of State [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. c. 168], gave the following reply:The new earnings survey indicates that gross weekly earnings, excluding overtime earnings, were less than £70 in April 1978 for about 3·8 million women aged 18 and over in full-time employment whose pay for the survey reference pay-period was not affected by absence, which was 82 per cent. of such women. The corresponding estimates for men aged 21 and over were about 4·5 million and 45 per cent.Because of subsequent increases in earnings the numbers currently earning less than £70 per week will be lower, but there will be, in addition, a number whose pay for the survey reference period was affected by absence—quite apart from juveniles and part-time workers who can benefit from the £3·50 proportionately. The figures include those who may still benefit more from the exception made in Cmnd. 7293 for increases where the resulting earnings are no more than £44·50 for a normal full-time week.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what has been the average percentage wage increase of full-time male manual workers in the period February 1974 to January 1979; and how this compares with the rate of inflation in that period;(2) what has been the average percentage wage increase of full-time female workers in the period February 1974 to January 1979; and how this compares with the rate of inflation in that period.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 168], gave the following reply:Estimates of movements in general average earnings separately for (i) female and (ii) manual male full-time workers are available only between new earnings survey reference periods. For those full-time workers aged 18 and over whose pay for the respective reference pay period was not affected by absence, the estimated percentage increases between April 1974 and April 1978 were 109·7 per cent. for females and 84·8 per cent. for manual males. The general index of retail prices increased by 83·4 per cent. over this period.