asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing earnings in the public sector relative to the private sector over the most recent period for which figures are available.
The following table shows the main public sector earnings figures from each of the Department of Employment's new earnings surveys as a percentage of the corresponding private sector figures. The table will be included in a short article in the December issue of the Treasury's "Economic Progress Report", which is to be published on 15 December. A copy will be placed in the Library.
Public and Private Sector Earnings* 1979–80 Public sector earnings as a percentage of private sector earnings for manuals and non-manuals
a. Public sector (b+c+d)
b. Central Government†
c. Local government
d. Public corporations
DE Gazette December 1977 and New Earnings Survey each year 1978–81.
* Comparisons have been made in terms of the average gross weekly earnings of full-time men aged 21 and over, whose pay during the Survey period was not affected by absence. Manuals and non-manual group earnings have been related to the appropriate private sector group.
† Includes NHS.
‡ The figures for central Government, local government and public corporations are calculated on a rather different basis in the periods 1970–77 and 1978–1981. The different bases of calculation have no effect on the figures for the public sector as a whole, and a significant effect only on the figures for manuals in central Government and local authorities: results on both bases for 1977 suggest that the figures on the 1970–77 basis may have understated the level of earnings for those workers by 2½ per cent, and 4½ per cent, respectively.
• If rough adjustments are made for:
- i. the 1981 non-industrial Civil Service award which was too late to be included in the 1981 NES;
- ii. the effects of the Civil Service strike (which had a greater effect on the lower grades than on the higher grades and so raised the average earnings of those whose pay was not affected by absence);
the central Government non-manuals figure would be 107 and the total public sector figure would be 108·8.