§ 58. Mr. Alan Howarth
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the latest figures available for the year-on-year increase in unit labour costs in manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany and Japan; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Butcher
In 1985 the increases in unit labour costs (in national currencies) in manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany and Japan were 5.5 per cent., 1.5 per cent., 0 per cent. and 0 per cent. respectively. It is discouraging that the United Kingdom's unit labour costs are rising significantly faster than in main competitor countries and, therefore, adversely affecting competitiveness and ultimately jobs. It is essential that both sides of industry recognise the need for realistic pay deals and improved productivity.