Unemployment

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Gwilym Roberts Mr Gwilym Roberts , Bedfordshire South 12:00 am, 10th July 1967

asked the Minister of Labour what figures are available for the number unemployed in each

TOTAL NUMBERS REGISTERED AS UNEMPLOYED IN STANDARD REGIONS AT 12TH JUNE, 1967
MenBoysWomenGirlsTotal
South East97,7772,62915,7231,379117,508
East Anglia8,4692411,79622010,726
South Western21,9595944,46446727,484
West Midlands40,0531,1728,36690750,498
East Midlands18,1524954,12946923,245
Yorks and Humberside31,7721,0865,90880639,572
North-Western51,6981,74714,4411,06268,948
Northern38,6451,5977,52592248,689
Scotland55,5642,07718,0231,31876,982
Wales26,6041,3156,9981,24236,159

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

asked the Minister of Labour what estimate he has made of the peak level of unemployment next winter.

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

I am not prepared to give forecasts of the future level of unemployment.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

In view of the fact that last month the percentage of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, again rose, and that the Treasury, in Economic Trends, expressed the belief that it will continue to rise, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in order to allay fears for the coming winter some estimate should be made, because the situation appears to he extremely menacing at present?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

I am in no doubt as to the seriousness of the unemployment of the standard regions; and what estimates have been produced for the hidden unemployment in the South-East represented by the drift back of workers to the development areas.

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

As the answer to the first part of the Question consists of a table of figures, I will with permission circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The answer to the second part is that no such estimates have been made.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Roberts Mr Gwilym Roberts , Bedfordshire South

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that to consider unemployment and development help in different regions of this type is useless and meaningless? Would he accept that what is needed is to consider each locality from the point of view both of its employment problems and its contribution to economic growth?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

I am sure that there is much virtue in that, but I am asked to supply the figures of the number of unemployed in each of the standard regions.

Following is the information:

figures, seasonally adjusted, but I must stand by what I told the House before, namely, that I would not wish to assume the role of a prophet.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

Will not the right hon. Gentleman give this matter further consideration? Does not he realise that with the seasonal trend moving as it is at the moment there is bound to be great concern? Does not he recall that my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod), when Minister of Labour, helped to allay concern by making such a forecast, which proved approximately correct?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

I have always been puzzled by that prophecy of the right hon. Gentleman. He was so accurate that it must have been an accident. I do not wish to run into that sort of accident.

Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East

Will my right hon. Friend ask his Cabinet colleagues to remove the deflationary measures in order that this trend shall not continue any longer?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

That consideration is ever present in the mind of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.