HC Deb 19 February 1919 vol 112 c941
73. Mr. K. JONES

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can give the official estimate of the number of persons unemployed: whether the numbers include both sexes and all those drawing unemployment pay; and whether he can also state the chief industries, if any, which cannot absorb the surplus labour, and the reasons why?


On the 7th February, the last date for which figures are available, the number of persons who had lodged their donation policies, at Employment Exchanges, because they were unemployed, was 734,090, of whom 254,648 were men, 24,538 boys, 428,114 women and 26,790 girls. During the week ended 7th February donation was paid to 695,998 persons. In trades insured against unemployment under the Acts of 1911 and 1916 the largest numbers of unemployed among men were in the engineering and iron founding (70,354), building (37,352), and shipbuilding trades (10,972), and among women in engineering and iron founding (103,443), and in ammunition and explosives (46,837). In trades not insured under the Acts of 1911 and 1916 it has not yet been possible to analyse by industries the figures for the week ending the 7th February. An analysis of the figures for the week ending the 31st January shows, that the largest numbers unemployed were among general labourers and factory workers in the case of men, and among general factory workers, domestic services, the cotton industry and dress in the case of women. As regards the last part of the question, the matter cannot be dealt with in reply to a question in the House, since the reasons for the failure to reabsorb these persons vary with each industry. A number of inquiries are being undertaken into the causes in the various industries.