§ 3. Mr. KIRKWOOD
asked the Minister of Labour the number of men employed and the number of unemployed in the Scottish building industry in April, 1933; the respective numbers as at the end of February, 1934; what is the reason for the increase in the number of unemployed; and what action does he intend to take to increase employment for building workers in Scotland?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
The following table shows the estimated numbers of insured men, aged 18–64, in the building industry classification in Scotland at July, 1932, and July, 1933 (the latest dates for which figures are available), and the numbers of men recorded as unemployed at 24th April, 1933, and 19th February, 1934.
Date. Estimated numbers insured Date. Numbers recorded as unemployed. July, 1932 73,500 24th Apr., 1933. 16,618 July, 1933 79,930 19th Feb., 1934. 25,755
Owing to the seasonal fluctuations in employment in the building industry, the numbers unemployed in that industry are ordinarily much higher in February than in April; at 20th February, 1933, the number of insured men, aged 18 to 64, recorded as unemployed in Scotland was 25,493. The substantial increase in the numbers insured between July, 1932, and July, 1933, is an indication that new engagements must have been numerous in that period, and there is no reason to suppose that this was not continued, particularly as any general improvement in industry normally gives rise to increased activity in the building trade. In these circumstances, I do not consider that any special action is called for.