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Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 1988.

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Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Pendle 12:00 am, 5th July 1988

I certainly accept that the employment situation in the hon. Gentleman's constituency and surrounding areas is more difficult than in other parts of the country, but, even in that area, unemployment has come down from 21·2 per cent. in May 1987 to 18·8 per cent. in May 1988. As the hon. Gentleman knows, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently set out a whole range of measures to help employment in the area, including urban programme grants, derelict land grants and funding from the European Community. The regional directors of the Departments of Employment, of the Environment and of Trade and Industry are working closely together to try to improve the situation. It is improving.