Unemployment

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1994.

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Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon 12:00 am, 28th November 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the current level of unemployment in Wales; and what was the level in October 1993.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Secretary of State for Wales

In October 1994, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Wales was 9 per cent., compared with 10.2 per cent. in October 1993. That represents a reduction of 14,700 or 11.4 per cent. in the number of people unemployed in Wales, and is most welcome.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

Perhaps my right hon. Friend will confirm and buttress that good news by telling the House how many job vacancies there are in Wales, as that is another good indication of the progress being made. Also, how many of the jobs created in the past year were as a result of European funding and how many jobs might not have been achieved in the past year and previously if Wales had not been a part of the United Kingdom and of the European Union?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Secretary of State for Wales

I think that that would require a little research, encyclopaedic though my knowledge may be of the unemployment figures in Wales. However, I can tell my hon. Friend that a lot of the jobs came because of inward investment from England as well as from overseas, and a lot came from indigenous investment and the growth of small businesses. My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that there were 12,400 more full-time jobs in manufacturing in the year to June 1994, which is a most welcome development.

Photo of Mr Allan Rogers Mr Allan Rogers , Rhondda

That is four out of four.

Mr. Alan W. Williams:

rose

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. The hon. Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers) should keep his temper—I do not want it. I call Mr. Alan W. Williams.

Mr. Williams:

What does the Secretary of State have to say to creamery workers in west Wales? On 1 November, 156 workers at Whitland creamery were made redundant. Last weekend we heard that in Newcastle Emlyn the Dansco plant, which employs 73 people, is up for sale. There are also some doubts about the Llangadog and Haverfordwest creameries. All those are the results of the Government's reorganisation of the milk marketing scheme. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the chaos at the creameries and in the dairy industry?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Secretary of State for Wales

I am concerned, and I have asked the Welsh Development Agency to see what can be done to help in those cases. I will, of course, take up the matter further following the hon. Gentleman's intervention.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. If the hon. Gentleman has any complaint about the number of hon. Members I am calling, I invite him to put a substantive motion on the Order Paper, and I shall see that it is debated.

Photo of Mr Allan Rogers Mr Allan Rogers , Rhondda

On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I must ask the hon. Gentleman to resume his seat. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Name him.1 I do not wish to name anyone today. I am asking the hon. Gentleman to resume his seat. I am sure that he will do that.