I hope that unemployment in Wigan will not persist at the present rate. Projects now going forward in the area are expected to provide about 2,000 new jobs in the near future.
While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that news, may I ask whether he is aware that the average unemployment figure for Wigan for the past twelve months has been around 5 per cent, and that that figure does not include married women who contracted out of the National Insurance Act but who are out of work owing to the recession in the cotton industry? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it time that Wigan was scheduled as an area for special consideration under the Distribution of Industry Act?
I think that the January figures are 1,700 workers wholly unemployed and 2,274 temporarily stopped. If we have the extra 2,000 jobs they will go quite a considerable way towards easing the position.