HC Deb 15 March 1923 vol 161 cc1806-7W

asked the Minister of Labour if he can state the volume of unemployment now necessary in an area before his Department will issue a certificate that exceptional distress exists; whether a different basis in computing this volume is taken in respect of areas administered by county borough, non-county borough, urban district, and rural district councils, respectively, and, if so, what the basis is in each class of area; and whether any and, if so, what alterations have taken place since 1st January, 1923, in the method of calculating the volume of unemployment necessary for obtaining a certificate?


Ordinarily a certificate of serious unemployment is issued if the number of men unemployed in the area is at least 300 and amounts to 6 per cent. of the male employed population. If the number unemployed is between 40 and 300, the necessary percentage in order to enable a certificate to be issued is ordinarily 7½ in rural areas, 10 per cent. in semi-rural areas, and 15 per cent. in other cases. In applying these figures to particular cases, allowance is made for any special features such as an abnormal amount of short-time employment or of unemployment among women. The only alteration in these rules since 1st January, 1923, has been the adoption of the percentages above stated in respect of rural and semi-rural areas with fewer than 300 unemployed; previously the necessary percentage for all cases with less than 300 unemployed was 15.