HC Deb 01 May 1973 vol 855 cc979-80
15. Mr. Horam

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a bi-monthly information sheet showing, for the Northern Region, which industrial and service categories added to their labour forces; by how many; in which redundancies were declared; and how many.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Regional estimates of the numbers of employees in employment analysed by industry are available only in respect of June each year, but my Department is currently conducting nine experiments into the possibility of improving, at local level, the collection and dissemination of labour market intelligence of the kind suggested.

Mr. Horam

Is the Minister aware that at the moment many local newspapers are doing a better job of recording job losses and gains than his Department?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

I am interested to hear what the hon. Gentleman says. Experiments are now being carried out into the feasibility of getting better labour market intelligence in travel-to-work areas. Hartlepool is the target of this experiment in the hon. Gentleman's area. We will see how it goes, evaluate it and consider whether it is worth extending and repeating elsewhere.

Mr. Dormand

Is it not a fact that the provisions of the Industry Act are not coming up to expectations for the Northern Region as there have been only two allocations since its enactment? Would it not be better if the Department or the Minister gave greater publicity to and took more action under the Act to try to improve matters in the Northern Region?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

That is undoubtedly a question for another Department, as the hon. Gentleman knows. I understand that an inquiry is being made into the subject and that it is expected to report quickly. However, the hon. Gentleman should put down his question to the Department of Trade and Industry.