HC Deb 02 April 1919 vol 114 c1235W
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir J. NORTON GRIFFITHS

asked the Minister of Labour what are the present average weekly earnings in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively, in the following trades: cotton, woollen, boot and shoe, and hosiery trades?


A comparison of present earnings in the trades mentioned is not possible for the two countries, since the most recent official data available for the United States of America relate to the month of October, 1918. In that month the average weekly earnings recorded in the representative establishments furnishing returns were as far as money wages are concerned as follows:Cotton Industry, 33s. in the United Kingdom as compared with 64s. 7d. in the United States; Woollen and Worsted, 34s. 1d. as compared with 76s.; Hosiery, 28s. as compared with 60s. 10d., and Boot and Shoe, 37s. 11d. as compared with 78s. 10d. The figures given, however, are not really comparable even as money wages. As regards the cotton industry, for example, it is not possible to determine how far the difference between 33s. and 64s. 7d.—the respective weekly earnings—is due to differences in the proportions in which men, women and young persons are represented in the pay-rolls of the factories compared, or to differences in the extent to which overtime or short time was being worked in those factories at the period to which the comparison relates. It seems probable, moreover, that the comparison, if carried to a more recent month, would show somewhat different results. Thus, for the United Kingdom the weekly earnings in the cotton industry had risen by February, 1919, to 44s. 5d.