HC Deb 10 November 1953 vol 520 cc747-8
1. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Labour how the figures of average wages in industry and agriculture, published by his Department earlier this year, were assessed; and if he will state, to the latest convenient date, the average earnings of all persons employed in industry and agriculture, using similar methods of calculation.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the figures of average weekly earnings in April, 1953, given in an article in the September, 1953, issue of the Ministry of Labour Gazette. Details of how these averages were compiled are given in the article in question. The figures cover manual wage-earners in manufacturing industries generally and in a number of the principal non-manufacturing industries. Similar figures are not available for classes other than manual wage-earners.

The figures of average weekly earnings in agriculture published at the same time are based on information collected from a random sample of farms by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture for Scotland.

Mr. Gower

Will the Minister reply to the second half of the Question, which asks for the present average earnings of all persons similarly employed, using similar methods of calculation?

Mr. Watkinson

The difficulty there is that it takes a long time to collect this information. We are now in the process of preparing the next set of figures, which will be ready for publication in March, 1954.