§ 1. Mr. Pardoe
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what was the percentage increase or decrease in jobs in the South-Western Development Area, all other development areas of the United Kingdom together, and the remainder of the United Kingdom, between January, 1964, and January, 1970.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Employment and Productivity (Mr. Edmund Dell)
Between June, 1964, and June, 1968, the estimated numbers of employees in employment in the South- 1370 Western Development Area increased by 1.7 per cent. In the remainder of the development areas, plus Northern Ireland, and in the rest of the United Kingdom, they decreased by 1.2 and 0.9 per cent., respectively. Employment estimates for development areas are compiled for each mid-year. The estimates for June, 1969, are not yet available.
§ Mr. Pardoe
While those figures are encouraging, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that the actual amount of aid going into the South-Western Development Area per 1,000 of the population is substantially less than —indeed, it is less than half—that going into other areas, and does he think that it is enough?
§ 2. Mr. Pardoe
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what was the percentage increase in unemployment in the South-West Development Area, all other United Kingdom development areas together, and the remainder of the United Kingdom, between January, 1964, and January, 1970.
§ Mr. Dell
Unemployment figures for the current development areas are available only for June, 1964. Because of seasonal variations, particularly in the South-West, these figures can be compared satisfactorily only with figures for a similar time of the year. Between June, 1964, and June, 1969, the numbers registered as unemployed in the South-Western Development Area, in the remainder of the development areas plus Northern Ireland, and in the rest of the United Kingdom, increased by 52.1, 17.9 and 86.2 per cent., respectively.
§ Mr. Pardoe
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as of January, 1970, the unemployment figures for the South-Western Development Area were substantially higher than those for the other development areas, and that even in June, 1969, the increase over June, 1964. was substantially higher than for the other development areas?
§ Mr. Dell
In an area like the South-West there is a considerable seasonal element in the unemployment figures. The most encouraging fact from the figures is the relative improvement in the development areas generally; and although the South-West does not show an equal improvement, it is, relatively speaking, better than the United Kingdom as a whole.