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Unemployment Benefit

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing the unemployment benefit rate for a couple and for a couple with two children as a proportion of average male full-time earnings plus average female part-time earnings for each year since 1970.

The information is given in the following table. Figures are given for the months in which benefit upratings took place, because comparisons at other dates can be misleading. The table begins with September 1971 because there was no uprating in 1970.

Unemployment benefit*as percentage of average earnings
Married coupleMarried couple with two children
September 197139·547·2
October 197236·444·1

Unemployment benefit


as percentage of average earnings

Married couple

Married couple with two children

October 197334·241·9
July 197434·942·8
April 197531·939·1
November 197531·138·4
November 197631·739·4
November 197733·741·1
November 197831·537·6
November 197929·835·7
November 198027·632·7
November 1981‡25·229·9
November 1982‡19·524·0


* Standard rate unemployment benefit and earnings-related supplement based on average male full-time earnings, plus dependency additions and family allowance/child benefit for the couple with children.

† Estimated average gross earnings of male full-time workers plus those of female part-time workers, in all occupations, derived from the New Earnings Survey by interpolation/extrapolation using the Department of Employment's monthly indices of average earnings. Family allowance/child benefit has been added for the couple with children.
‡ Figures for 1981 and 1982 are provisional.