§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) what has been the percentage increase in employee earnings and productivity over the past three, six and 12 months, respectively;
(2) what factors are used to calculate percentage changes in national productivity.
§ Mr. Dell
There are several possible ways of defining productivity, but the only series for which comprehensive information is available for the whole economy is that which expresses production measured by the gross domestic product (output based at constant prices) as a ratio of changes in the employed labour force (comprising employees in employment, employers, self-employed persons and H.M. Forces). This index is published regularly in theEmployment and Productivity Gazette. The most recent figures relate to the first quarter of 1969 and the changes over the preceding three, six and 12 months were -0.8 per cent., +0.2 per cent. and +1.5 per cent. respectively.
Changes in average earnings per employee are measured by the monthly index of average earnings. The most recent figure relates to September, 1969, and the seasonally adjusted changes over the preceding three, six and 12 months were +2.1 per cent., +4.1 per cent. and +8.1 per cent. respectively.
However, the above figures are not directly comparable because of the different time periods and different bases. A better measure of the relationship between earnings and productivity is provided by the index of wages and salaries per unit of output, which expresses the total wage and salary bill as a ratio of the gross domestic product (income based at constant prices). This index is published in the Employment and Productivity Gazette and the most recent figures are for the second quarter of 1969. The changes over the preceding three, six and 12 months were +1.2 per cent., +3.4 per cent. and +4.9 per cent. respectively.