HC Deb 21 February 1906 vol 152 cc345-6

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he can state how many skilled artisans and how many unskilled workers are now estimated to be out of employment in the United Kingdom; and how many of these are in London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Dublin, respectively.


Returns from trade unions with a membership of 388,000, mostly skilled workmen, show that 27,614 were unemployed at the end of January. Returns from 120 Distress Committees constituted under the Un- employed Workmen Act show that from the time of establishment up to the end of January they had registered 90,411 persons, of whom about two thirds are estimated to be unskilled labourers. Of the total 42,093 were in London and neighbourhood, 2,009 in Sheffield, 1,938 in Glasgow, 2,705 in Leeds, and 2,322 in Liverpool. There was no Distress Committee in Dublin in January. The above are the only sources of statistical information on the subject referred to in the Question. I have no doubt the hon. and gallant Member will be delighted to learn that there is a general improvement in employment. At the end of January, 1905, the percentage of employment was 6.8 per cent.; at the end of January 1906, the percentage was 4.7 per cent.


I am very glad to hear it. But do not the returns refer almost entirely to skilled labour? Will the right hon. Gentleman communicate the figures to the Prime Minister in view of the paragraph in the King's Speech as to the prosperity of the country?

[No Answer was returned.]