HC Deb 06 April 1939 vol 345 cc3030-1W
Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the fact that, of the 6,261 applicants for benefit or unemployment allowances in the Greenock area as at 16th January, 1939, over 17 per cent. had been unemployed for two years or more and over 11 percent. for three years or more; how many of these were men and how many women; how many had been unemployed for three to five years and over five years, respectively," and if he can give any information regarding the type and causes of this long unemployment?

Mr. E. Brown,

pursuant to his reply (OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd March, 1939, cols. 1426–27, Vol. 344) ,supplied the following statement.

The table below analyses by sex and duration of employment the numbers of persons applying for unemployment benefitor allowances at the Greenock Employment Exchange at 16th January, 1939, who had been continuously on the register for two years or more.

Length of current spell of registered unemployment. Men. Women.
Two but less than three years. 364 29
Three but less than five years. 222 24
Five and more 451 13

The majority of the long term unemployed were last registered in the shipbuilding industry and a considerable number of them lost their employment on the closing of a large yard in the district. As the hon. and learned Member will be aware the Government's proposals for assisting the shipping and shipbuilding industries were announced by the President of the Board of Trade on 28th March last. The number of long term unemployed registering at Greenock is however also substantially influenced by a factor unrelated to the industrial position of the area. Greenock acts as a connected Exchange for three instructional centres in Argyllshire and as approximately one-third of the trainees at these centres have been unemployed for two years or more, they are included in the figures given above.