§ Mr. Lawrence
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the labour force was in public employment in 1951 compared to 1981.
§ Mr. Waddington
Precise figures on a fully comparable basis covering the whole of the period are not available but my Department has estimated that the percentage of the employed labour force working in the public sector, including public corporations, was 29.7 per cent. at the latest available date—mid-1979—compared to about 27½ per cent. at mid-1951. Part of the increase is the result of transfers to the public sector, in particular the nationalisation of the aerospace and shipbuilding industries in 1977.