HC Deb 28 March 1946 vol 421 c571
65. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state, approximately, the number of adult persons under 65 years of age, unregistered, who are unemployed and the number of registered unemployed; and in respect to the latter the causes and nature of the unemployment.

Mr. Isaacs

The number of unemployed persons who have not registered at offices of the Ministry of Labour and National Service is not known. The number of insured persons aged 18 years and over, suitable for ordinary employment, registered as unemployed at employment exchanges of the Ministry in Great Britain at 11th February, 1946, was 338,413. In addition, there were 5,032 uninsured persons aged 18 years and over on the registers, and 23,472 persons aged 18 years and over classified as unsuitable for ordinary employment.

As regards the last part of the Question, the causes and nature of the unemployment are so many and so varied that I could not hope to give a detailed answer in reply to a Question.

Mr. Reid

Could the Minister state whether, in general, the cause of this unemployment is of a temporary nature?

Mr. Isaacs

I would express the hope that it would be of a temporary nature. The problem is that this figure of 23,400 is the old hard core of unemployed workers, who were found to be very useful indeed when the country was in need during the war, and employers were willing to engage them, but now they are on the "not wanted "list. We shall do all we can to find work for them.