Employment (Yorkshire and Humberside)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Productivity – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Hiley Mr Joseph Hiley , Pudsey 12:00, 4 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether she will list the total number in employment in the Yorkshire and Humberside Region at the latest available date and the equivalent date in 1966.

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

The estimated numbers of employees in employment in the Yorkshire and Humberside region at March, 1969, and March, 1966, were 1,986,000 and 2,092,000, respectively. The figure for March, 1969, is provisional.

Photo of Mr Joseph Hiley Mr Joseph Hiley , Pudsey

When the Minister examines this unfortunate trend, will he consider the possibility that the over-generous treatment of the development areas has adversely affected those who are outside those areas and that we are not securing any new real jobs, but merely transferring unemployment from development to other areas?

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

I do not believe that that is the case. In any event, the hon. Gentleman will know that the Yorkshire coalfields and North Humberside have now been made an intermediate area. There are many factors affecting the level of employment relative to March, 1966. These factors include such things as the point in the cycle which we had reached in March, 1966, an increase in the number of people self-employed, and an increase in the number of people staying at school. All these are factors in the situation.

Photo of Mr James Tinn Mr James Tinn , Cleveland

On the contrary, will my hon. Friend bear in mind that in development areas the unemployment rates are running at two, three and even more times the rate for Yorkshire and Humberside and that there is no justification for the allegation of over-generosity to these areas?

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. That is why we are continuing to give substantial assistance to the development areas.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this is the second area in three Questions of which he has had to admit that the number of jobs is more than 100,000 fewer than three years ago?

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

Yes. I have also given the right hon. Gentleman an explanation of these facts. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will have studied, for example, the March, 1969, edition of the D.E.P. Gazette showing forecast levels of employment which go way ahead. He will find that even at high levels of demand it is expected that they will remain very stable for as far ahead as 1980 owing to various demographic factors of which the right hon. Gentleman must be aware.