HC Deb 21 February 1979 vol 963 c190W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North [Official Report, 31 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 467], why it is that earnings figures are collected for men aged 21 years and over and for women aged 18 years and over; and whether, in order to simplify analysis, he will consider standardising the information.

Mr. Harold Walker

These traditional age group limits are used to maintain full comparability with statistics for earlier years, and, particularly in relation to manual male workers, to obtain statistics from which most of those not on full "adult" rates of pay are excluded. This practice has been reviewed from time to time and a further review is envisaged later this year in consultation with CBI and TUC. Year of birth of employees is obtained in the new earnings survey and this permits flexibility in the analyses compiled. A wide range of results of that survey is available using common age-group limits. Unfortunately such results were available for only one of the two replies to the hon. Member on 31 January.—[Vol. 961, c.439 and 467.]