HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 cc663-4
6. Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the changes in the number of men employed in each standard planning region since June 1979.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

With permission, Madam Speaker, I will arrange for the table of information requested to be published in the Official Report.

Mr. Griffiths

I am sorry that the Minister could not see fit to give figures which have been given on previous occasions when I have been lucky enough to ask this question.

May I draw attention to the figures for Wales, which have prompted me to ask about the United Kingdom? There has been a reduction in the number of jobs for men in Wales from 618,000 to 583,000, including 53,000 part-time jobs. That is a reduction of more than 20 per cent. When does the Minister expect to get back to the figures for employment for men that we had when Labour was last in power?

Mr. Forsyth

If the hon. Gentleman looks at his question, he will find that he asked for the figures for each region of the United Kingdom, not for the United Kingdom. He is right about Wales, but he could have pointed to East Anglia where employment figures have gone up. I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman and others would welcome the fact that employment is rising and that in Britain we have a higher percentage of our population in work than most other European countries.

Mr. Mans

In the context of the figures, does my hon. Friend agree that the situation is very good indeed in the north-west? Does that not show that this recovery, unlike previous ones, is manufacturing and export-led, rather than consumer and service-led?

Mr. Forsyth

My hon. Friend is right to point out that in recent months unemployment has been falling in every region of the United Kingdom. That is good news, and it is because of the success of the Government's policies of getting inflation down and creating conditions in which business can thrive and prosper.

Following is the information:

Civilian work force in employment1
Male all
Standard regions June 1979 December 1993 Change
South East 4,884 4,368 -516
East Anglia 485 511 +26
South West 1,053 1,118 +65
West Midlands 1,464 1,238 -226
East Midlands 1,012 927 -85
Yorkshire and Humberside 1,305 1,113 -192
North West 1,714 1,410 -304
North 807 661 -146
Wales 721 627 -95
Scotland 1,323 1,173 -150
Great Britain 14,769 13,147 -1,622
1 The civilian work force in employment comprises employees in employment, the self-employed and participants in work-related Government training programmes. Figures are not seasonally adjusted.