HC Deb 14 April 1953 vol 514 cc6-7
5. Mr. Gibson

asked the Minister of Labour the number of men on the unemployed register of the Brixton and Tooting employment exchanges; how many of these are over 45 years of age; and what is the average length of time they have been registered as unemployed.

Mr. Watkinson

As the reply includes a number of figures, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Gibson

Is the Minister aware that there seems to be a growing difficulty for men over 45 to get employment, and that it seems to be growing considerably in South London? Can he say whether any special steps are being taken by his Department to try to find employment for these people?

Mr. Watkinson

It is fair to say that the figures show that, over 40 years of age, the difficulty of obtaining employment becomes much greater. The National Advisory Committee for the Employment of Older Men and Women, over which I preside, is trying to meet that problem.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Would the hon. Gentleman have a word with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about this unhappy state of affairs, because it is the right hon. Gentleman's economic policies which are responsible?

Mr. Watkinson

Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will restrain his impatience for another half hour.

Following is the reply:

The total numbers of men aged 18 and over on the registers of the Brixton and Tooting employment exchanges at 16th March were 1,730 and 1,145, respectively. The latest date for which an age analysis is available is 8th December, 1952, when the total numbers of wholly unemployed men on the registers were 1,626 at Brixton and 1,072 at Tooting, of whom 881 and 664, respectively, were aged 40 or over. The numbers aged 45 and over are not separately distinguished in the returns. (The figures exclude a small number of "temporary stopped" and "casuals" unemployed for whom an age analysis is not available).

The average length of time for which the persons on the registers had been unemployed is not known, but the following table gives an analysis of the figures for 16th March, according to duration of unemployment:

Duration of unemployment (in weeks) Brixton Employment Exchange Tooting Employment Exchange
8 or less 1,090 696
Over 8 and up to 13 178 142
Over 13 and up 26 256 179
Over 26 and up 52 117 97
Over 52 89 31
TOTAL 1,730 1,145