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Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what have been the real increases in earnings in the public sector in each of the past three years.

Estimates of the percentage increase in average gross earnings of full-time employees in the public sector, deflated by the increase in the retail prices index, are as follows.

Changes in real average gross weekly earnings of full-time adult employees working a full week
April 1981 to April 1982*-1·0
April 1982 to April 1983†+3·8
April 1983 to April 1984+0·6

Source: New Earnings Survey.

* Based on males aged 21 and over and females aged 18 and over.

† Based on those on adult rates of pay.

Changes in average earnings in April of successive years may reflect changes in the timing of pay settlements.

Numbers and percentage of employees in employment in the 15 Industry Groups with the largest numbers of employees

Orders of the Standard Industrial Classification 1968

June 1971

June 1976

September 1981

(latest available)

Number (000s)

Per cent.

Number (000s)

Per cent.

Number (000s)

Per cent.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing1·62·31·52·01·41·7
Food drink and tobacco1·92·71·52·01·21·6
Chemicals and allied industries1·51·9
Metal manufacture



Mechanical engineering3·55·03·44·63·03·8
Electrical engineering9·012·66·89·13·94·9
Metal goods not elsewhere specified1·11·51·21·71·21·5
Timber, furniture etc1·42·01·52·0
Gas, electricity and water1·11·41·01·3
Transport and communication3·14·33·95·25·36·7
Distributive trades9·413·212·216·414·318·3
Insurance, banking, finance and business services1·11·63·04·15·87·5
Professional and scientific services9·213·09·613·012·916·5
Miscellaneous services5·98·37·710·48·811·2
Public administration and defence4·05·64·25·72·93·7

* Figures suppressed to avoid disclosure of information concerning an individual firm.