asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state, or give an approximate estimate of, the percentage increase of the average weekly earnings of those categories of wage-earners upon which he bases his estimate that their wage-rates had risen by 27 per cent. between the start of the war and the end of January, 1942?
The latest statistics of average earnings at present available relate to July, 1941, when an inquiry was made by my Department into the earnings of workpeople in manufacturing industries generally and in some of the principal non-manufacturing industries. The results of that inquiry, which were published in the issues of the Ministry of Labour Gazette for November and December, 1941, showed that the earnings of the workpeople in the industries covered were about 42 per cent. higher, in the week ended 12th July, 1941, than in the last pay week of October, 1938, the latest date prior to the war for which corresponding statistics are available. It will be appreciated that in July, 1941, a great amount of overtime was worked.