HC Deb 01 July 1971 vol 820 cc561-2
9. Mr. Carter

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish the latest unemployment figures for Birmingham in their various categories, and state the total as a percentage of the workforce.

Mr. Dudley Smith

At 14th June, 22,331 people—19,547 males and 2,784 females—were registered as unemployed in the Birmingham travel-to-work area.

Of these, 20,265 were wholly unemployed and 2,066 were temporarily stopped. The rate of unemployment was 3.3 per cent. The figures are provisional.

Mr. Carter

I thank the Minister for that reply. Is he aware, however, that, although there is a numerical decrease in comparison with last month, male unemployment has increased? On the subject of unemployed school leavers, will the Secretary of State take this opportunity of withdrawing the reply which he gave to me earlier this week when he rested complacently, and without showing any care whatsoever, on his belief that a large number of the half-million children who will leave school in July will remain unemployed for many months to come?

Mr. Smith

I refute entirely the hon. Gentleman's allegations. The reply I gave him was a genuine reply based on the best available information my Department has. As a Midlands Member of Parliament, I yield to no one in my concern about unemployment in Birmingham and the Birmingham area. I am, as a member of the Government, determined that these figures shall be brought down. The hon. Gentleman may like to know that, as an example of my concern, I am next week meeting the Birmingham Local Employment Committee to discuss this matter further.