§ Mr. Jim Lester
I have been asked to reply.
International comparisons of earnings statistics are not meaningful unless account is taken of (i) differences in taxation and social benefits, (ii) differences in internal purchasing power of the currencies in each country, which are not necessarily reflected by market exchange rates, (iii) in the case of weekly earnings, differences in the average number of hours worked, (iv) differences in national definitions and methods of compilation of the data.
The latest available information is given in the following table:
AVERAGE GROSS WEEKLY EARNINGS OF MANUAL WORKERS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY* IN OCTOBER 1978 National currency £ sterling† United Kingdom 86 £ 86 Belgium 9,480 BFR 163 France 812 FFR 96 Germany (Federal Republic) 526 DM 142 Italy 132‡(Thousand) LIRA 81 Luxembourg 9,697 LFR 166 Source: Statistical Office of the European Communities. * Iron and steel industry as defined under the ECSC Treaty. †Converted at average market exchange rates October 1978. ‡Estimate based on hours of work in October 1977 Corresponding figures for Denmark, Irish Republic and the Netherlands are not available.