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Earnings (Public Sector)

Volume 15: debated on Monday 14 December 1981

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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

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

a. Public sector (b+c+d)

Manuals93·494·396·796·197·3106·2104·5102·4100·9100·0103·9106·9
Non-manuals102·3101·3104·4100·8103·5107·5112·1107·6101·099·0102·0106·3
Total100·0100·3103·6100·7102·7109·0110·5107·2103·4101·5105·3•106·4

b. Central Government

Manuals‡818684798391919188849595
Non-manuals10310210396105104113109102100108•104
Total10210510598106108114112104100111108

c. Local government

Manuals‡788180808189888486849191
Non-manuals1021011041031031091131071009798106
Total10210410710510511211511110299102108

d. Public corporations

Manuals102101105104105115113111109108111115
Non-Manuals99100102100102109110108102102103108
Total9897100100101110109107104104105109

Source:

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.