HC Deb 19 April 1956 vol 551 cc1150-1
Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Labour to make a statement of the employment position in the United Kingdom at the latest convenient date; and his estimate of future prospects.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The latest figures are for Great Britain. The number in civil employment at the end of February was 22,950,000, which was 204,000 more than a year ago, and on 12th March the number of unemployed was 266,000, or 4,000 less than a year ago. There are at present no indications that employment generally will not continue at a satisfactory level.

Mr. Gower

Can my right hon. Friend say anything about the number of notified unfilled vacancies and their relationship to the figures of unemployed?

Mr. Macleod

As near as possible, the comparable figure to set against the figures which I have given is 380,000 vacancies on 7th March, which is still substantially higher than the number of unemployed.

Mr. Lee

Does the Minister agree that we cannot really make an estimate of future prospects until we know about such matters as the growth of automation, and before we have the D.S.I.R. Report on the matter?

Mr. Macleod

That is a very different question. I answered the hon. Member upon that matter recently, and I have nothing to add to what I said then.

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