HC Deb 24 July 1959 vol 609 cc176-7W
Mr. Thornton

asked the Minister of Labour, since he has now on two or three occasions announced figures of registered unemployment in advance of the employment figures with which the former have been customarily published, if he will in future arrange that employment and unemployment figures shall relate to the same date, so that they may be properly compared or, alternatively, on future occasions when he issues unemployment figures before the employment total is tabulated, if he will, at the same time, make a provisional estimate of employment on the basis of returns so far received, including Her Majesty's Forces.

Mr. Iain Macleod

As I stated on 11th May, I think there is a general desire that the unemployment figures should be published as soon as they are known, and I should be reluctant to return to the former practice of withholding them until estimates of employment figures are available. Any change in the arrangements for obtaining estimates of the employment figures would cause great inconvenience, and I do not think it would be justified. The communiqué giving particulars of employment, of which a copy is available in the Library of the House, contains a table on the general manpower position in Great Britain which includes an estimate of the numbers unemployed at the end of the month, so that this figure can be compared with the numbers in employment. This table is also published in the Ministry of Labour Gazette.

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