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Steel Workers (Earnings)

Volume 978: debated on Tuesday 12 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the average weekly earnings of a British steelworker compared with those in each European Economic Community country.

I have been asked to reply.International comparisons of earnings statistics are not meaningful unless account is taken of (i) differences in taxation and social benefits, (ii) differences in internal purchasing power of the currencies in each country, which are not necessarily reflected by market exchange rates, (iii) in the case of weekly earnings, differences in the average number of hours worked, (iv) differences in national definitions and methods of compilation of the data.The latest available information is given in the following table:

AVERAGE GROSS WEEKLY EARNINGS OF MANUAL WORKERS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY* IN OCTOBER 1978
National currency£ sterling
United Kingdom86£86
Belgium9,480BFR163
France812FFR96
Germany (Federal Republic)526DM142
Italy132‡(Thousand)LIRA81
Luxembourg9,697LFR166
Source: Statistical Office of the European Communities.
* Iron and steel industry as defined under the ECSC Treaty.
†Converted at average market exchange rates October 1978.
‡Estimate based on hours of work in October 1977
Corresponding figures for Denmark, Irish Republic and the Netherlands are not available.