HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 cc440-1
11. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Labour what variation has occurred in the total numbers of people unemployed in Wales between February and the latest convenient date for which figures are available; what is his estimate of the future trend of employment in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Between February and June, 1959, unemployment in Wales fell by just under 13,000 to a total of 32,367, i.e. a drop of 28 per cent. Industrial details for June are not yet available but the improvement between February and May this year, whilst partly seasonal, included a substantial decrease in a number of manufacturing industries, especially iron and steel. I have every reason to expect that Wales will continue to share in the economic expansion which is affecting unemployment, in addition to benefiting from a number of new projects in South Wales where most of the working population is concentrated.

Mr. Gower

To what extent has this very welcome change affected the more difficult areas in North-West and Southwest Wales?

Mr. Macleod

I would like my hon. Friend to put down a further Question, when I will cover that point. It remains true that in many areas, like North-West Wales, there are great difficulties unsolved which we must continue to try to solve.

Mr. Lee

What is the employment position in Wales as distinct from the unemployment position?

Mr. Macleod

Employment figures are always received a little later than the unemployment figures. They will be issued in a few days and I have every reason to believe that they will be extremely satisfactory.