HC Deb 18 December 1961 vol 651 cc918-9
11. Mr. Randall

asked the Minister of Labour which region had the least number of vacancies remaining unfilled on 8th November; what was its total unemployment figure; and if he will state for this region and for the Northern Region both the actual and the normal seasonal changes in the number of unfilled vacancies compared with the previous month for each of the last 12 months.

Mr. Hare

Northern Region, where there were 7,053 unfilled vacancies. The total number registered as unemployed on 13th November was 38,299. As the answer to the second part of the Question contains a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Randall

The Minister will know that the number of unfilled vacancies in the Northern Region is the lowest in the country. Is he aware that the percentage of jobs to unemployed is also the lowest in the country? Is he further aware that this represents five unemployed men chasing one job? In view of those statistics which he has given me in previous Questions, does not the Minister agree that there should be vigorous action on his part and on the part of the President of the Board of Trade to ensure that something is done immediately in the North-East to curb the trend which is emerging?

Mr. Hare

I quite agree that the situation in the Northern Region is serious, but, as I told the hon. Gentleman last week, the unemployment rate in Scotland is higher—3.2 per cent. against 2.9 per cent. in the Northern Region. Of course, Scotland's working population is almost double. I do not deny that both in Scotland and in the Northern Region there are approximately 100 people wholly unemployed with only about 20 unfilled vacancies. That is why my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and myself are doing all we can to ensure that new jobs are provided.

The following is the table of figures:

Dates Actual Normal Seasonal
November, 1960-December, 1960 -478 -100
December, 1960-January, 1961 +383 -400
January, 1961-February, 1961 +127 -300
February, 1961-March, 1961 +1,149 +1,100
March, 1961-April, 1961 +1,377 +1,200
April, 1961-May, 1961 +190 Nil
May, 1961-June, 1961 +1,128 +600
June, 1961-July, 1961 +994 +1,300
July, 1961-August, 1961 -1,182 -200
August, 1961-September, 1961 -2,080 -2,000
September, 1961-October, 1961 -1,375 -700
October, 1961-November, 1961 -901 -500

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