HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 cc1357-9
16. Mr. Randall

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state the percentage increase in the total of unemployment in the Northern Region at 13th November, 1961, as compared with 16th October, 1961, and the percentage increase in the total of unemployment for Great Britain over the same period.

Mr. Hare

In the Northern Region unemployment rose from 2.5 per cent. to 2.9 per cent. between October and November, 1961; this increase expressed as a percentage is 15.2 per cent. The comparable figures for Great Britain were 1.6 per cent., 1.7 per cent. and 5.9 per cent., respectively.

Mr. Randall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the last percentage figures he gave with regard to the Northern Region show a particularly disturbing trend? Does he agree that the figure for the Northern Region is higher than that for any other region? Does he further agree that this is beyond the normal seasonal increase? He is aware of the problem of semi-skilled and unskilled employment in the Northern Region. Does he not feel that some very active steps are required on his part to deal with the new situation?

Mr. Hare

This is not the highest regional figure. Scotland is the highest. Much of this increase, which I am glad to say is still below 3 per cent., is, as the hon. Gentleman says, due to seasonal factors, but much of it is also due to reduced activity in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industries, in iron and steel maintenance, and in construction work. These are the factors which have contributed to the increase.

18. Mr. Ainsley

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give the number of unemployed, male and female, in the Northern Region for the months from November, 1960, to the present month.

Mr. Hare

As the reply consists of a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Ainsley

The Minister has already admitted in a previous Answer that the Northern Region has twice the national average of unemployment. The basic industries are continuing to decline and the subsidiary firms that have set up on the trading estates are now retracting to the London Region. Will the Government get out of their Whitehall and the London Region mentality and plan for the rest of the country?

Mr. Hare

I think that the hon. Gentleman has slightly misquoted me. I did not say that the rate in the Northern Region was twice as high as anywhere else. On the general point of his supplementary question. I certainly am in touch with my right hon. Friends who have particular responsibilities in this matter. We shall continue to do all we can to keep the situation reasonably under control.

Following is the reply:

Month Males Females Total
November, 1960 25,904 9,142 35,046
December, 1960 25,732 9,210 34,942
January, 1961 28,000 9,328 37,328
February, 1961 25,669 9,091 34,760
March, 1961 23,657 8,452 32,109
April, 1961 23,614 8,362 31,976
May, 1961 21,547 8,100 29,647
June, 1961 19,559 6,367 25,926
July, 1961 18,899 5,899 24,798
August, 1961 22,752 7,479 30,231
September, 1961 23,255 7,411 30,666
October, 1961 25,353 7,907 33,260
November, 1961 29,456 8,843 38,299

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