9. Mr. R. C. Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many registered disabled people in the Southampton area were unemployed at the latest available date; and what percentage this represents of the total number of registered disabled in the area.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
On 13th May the number of unemployed registered disabled people in the Southampton area was 321. This represented 8.8 per cent. of the total number of registered disabled people in the area.
Can my hon. Friend show how those figures compare with the previous figures and with the national average?
§ Mr. Walker
I can give my hon. Friend a comparison with the previous year. If he wants me to go back any further, perhaps he will write to me. There has been a welcome improvement in the employment position of registered disabled people both nationally and in the Southampton area compared with the preceding year. Nationally the number of unemployed registered disabled people fell from 74,253, or 12.4 per cent. of the register, in May 1973 to 61,506, or 10.7 per cent. of the register, in May 1974. In the Southampton area the figure fell from 398, or 10.7 per cent., to the figure which I gave in my answer of 321, or 88 per cent.
§ Mr. Walker
The House will know that the employment of disabled people is one of the matters that we have under review. We have received comments on the consultative document put out earlier by the Department, and we are proceeding with this with all possible speed. We hope to be able to report something to the House very shortly.