§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the percentage increase in average weekly earnings since 1973 of all workers in the private and public sectors of the economy, respectively.
§ Mr. Golding
Approximate estimates derived from the new earnings survey indicate that between April 1973 and April 1978 average gross weekly earnings of full-time men aged 21 and over increased by about 111 per cent. in the private sector and 116 per cent. in the public sector. The corresponding figures for women aged 18 and over were 145 and 136 and reflect that in 1973 equal pay already operated to a greater extent in the public sector. These approximate sectoral figures are subject to important limitations which were described in the December 1977 issue of the Department's gazette. They are, for example, affected by variations from year to year in the timing of the implementation of pay settlements. Thus the April 1978 figures for women in the public sector took no account of settlements for nurses and telephonists and so were depressed.