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Manufacturing Industry

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 18 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1970 and for the latest quarter (a) employers' national insurance contributions as a percentage of manufacturing labour costs, (b) average weekly earnings in manufacturing as a percentage of their level in 1970 and (c) unit labour costs in manufacturing as a percentage of their level in 1970.

The following table gives indices of average earnings and unit labour costs in all manufacturing industries with the year 1970 = 100.

MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES
Index of average earnings—all employees—Great Britain—seasonally adjustedIndex of labour costs per unit of output—United Kingdom*
1971111·2†109·9
1972125·5‡115·0
1973141·6121·6
1974165·9151·1
1975209·2197·8
1976243·7226·3
1977268·8253·8
1978308·1288·0
1979:
First quarter334·0Not available
Second quarter352·6
Third quarter356·1§
* Based on census of production.
†As industrial activity was severely disrupted by restricted electricity supplies, the monthly survey on which these figures are based was not carried out in February 1972. This figure is an average of the 11 months excluding February.
‡This figure reflects temporary reductions in earnings while three-day working and other restrictions were in operation in January and February.
§The figures reflect abnormally low earnings due to the effects of the national dispute in the engineering industries.
Estimates of employers' national insurance contributions as a percentage of manufacturing labour costs are available from the 1973 and 1975 surveys of labour costs. These indicate that employers' statutory national insurance contributions made up about 5 per cent. of total labour costs in manufacturing industries in Great Britain in 1973 and about 6½per cent. in 1975. Taking account of the national insurance surcharges made in 1977 and 1978, the current figure is probably just over 10 per cent.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) unit labour costs in manufacturing in the principal industrial countries in terms of dollars and as a percentage of their level in 1970 and (b) earnings in manufacturing in dollar terms as a percentage of their level in 1970.

A general measure of the absolute level of unit labour costs is not available. However, trends in unit labour costs can be measured by use of index numbers. The available figures for principal industrial countries are given in the following table both in terms of national currencies and adjusted for relative movements in exchange rates against the dollar.

WAGES AND SALARIES PER UNIT OF OUTPUT IN MANUFACTURING SECOND QUARTER 1979* AS A PERCENTAGE OF 1970 LEVEL BASED ON:
(i)(ii)
National currenciesUS dollars
United Kingdom297248
Germany (FR)†149296
Japan‡193377
United States155155
* Seasonally adjusted
†Including mining
‡Whole economy

Source: OECD—Main Economic Indicators.

The figure requested in part ( b) was 295 in the second quarter of 1979. This estimate for Great Britain, is derived from the monthly index of average earnings (older series) for manual and non-manual employees in manufacturing industries, adjusted for the change in the exchange rate against the dollar.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the United Kingdom for each year since 1967 and for the latest quarter (a) weekly earnings in manufacturing and the whole economy as a percentage of their levels in 1967 and the increase on the preceding year and (b) unit labour costs in manufacturing and the whole economy as a percentage of their levels in 1967 and the increase on the preceding year.

Labour costs per unit of output—United

Kingdom

Average earnings—Great Britainf

Manufacturing

*

Whole economy

ManufacturingAll industries and services covered

Index 1967=100

Percentage increase on a year earlier

Index 1967=100

Percentage increase on a year earlier

Index 1967=100

Percentage increase on a year earlier

Index 1967=100

Percentage increase on a year earlier

1968100·00·0102·42·4108·28·2107·87·8
1969106·76·7106·43·9117·08·1116·37·8
1970120·512·9116·99·9131·912·7130·412·1
1971132·49·9127·49·0146·611·2145·111·3
1972138·54·6138·78·9165·5§12·8163·8§12·9
1973146·55·7148·57·1186·812·9185·913·5
1974182·124·3183·223·4218·817·2218·917·8
1975238·330·9237·429·6275·926·1276·926·5
1976272·614·4262·910·7321·416·5320·015·6
1977305·812·2288·79·8354·510·3352·610·2
1978346·913·4322·111·6406·314·6403·614·4
1979 Q1not available348·9‡11·9‡440·414·7435·714·7
Q2359·8‡13·4‡465·015·4459·514·7
Q3not yet available469·6¶13·9¶471·2¶14·8¶

*Based on census of production.

†From the monthly index of average earnings. Until 1976 the industries and services covered by the earnings inquiry were all manufacturing industries, agriculture, mining and quarrying, construction, gas, electricity and water, transport (except sea transport) and some miscellaneous services and these are the industries to which the figures in the table relate. In 1976 the inquiry was extended to cover the whole economy. Indices (1976=100) and percentage increases for the whole economy (not seasonally adjusted) have been as follows:

Index

Percentage increase on a year earlier

1977109·19·1
1978123·213·0
1979 Q1132·213·9
Q2139·013·4
Q3145·4¶15·7¶
‡Seasonally adjusted.
§As industrial activity was severely disrupted by restricted electricity supplies, the monthly survey was not carried out in February 1972. This figure is an average of the 11 months excluding February.
|| These figures and the increases based on them reflect the effects of temporary reductions in earnings while three-day working and other restrictions were in operation in January and February.
¶The figures reflect abnormally low earnings due to the effects of the national dispute in the engineering industries.