HC Deb 11 June 1934 vol 290 cc1351-2

asked the Minister of Labour whether the percentages of juvenile employment published in the Local Unemployment Index issued by his Department are calculated by expressing the number of unemployed juveniles between the ages of 14 and 18 years as a percentage of the insured juveniles between the ages of 16 and 18 years: and whether, seeing that this method of calculation has the effect of representing the percentages of juvenile employment to be more than twice as large as it really is, he is prepared to alter the basis of calculation?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Henry Betterton)

I have prepared a detailed reply to this question, which, with my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The basis on which these percentages are calculated is explained in each issue of the Local Unemployment Index, and is as described by my hon. Friend. The figures are not intended to be used as an absolute measure of the amount of unemployment among juveniles, but the information which would be required to enable the total number of juveniles registered as unemployed to be expressed as a percentage of the total number available for employment is not at present obtainable, and in its absence the figures given are of value as providing a broad indication of the changes, from month to month, in the relative position in different localities. The provision of such information is one of the primary purposes of the Index. I hope that when the proposals as regards juveniles in Part I of the Unemployment Bill are in operation, data will become available which will enable these percentages to be computed on a more comprehensive basis.