HC Deb 09 June 1967 vol 747 cc279-80W
Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour what are the highest rates of unemployment in Wales, and in what districts; how these compare with those in England; and why Welsh unemployment is persistently high.

Mr. Hattersley

The Welsh districts with the highest percentage unemployment rates on 8th May, 1967 were Porthcawl (9.5), Caerphilly with Senghenydd (8.6), Rhondda (8.5), Risca (8.3) and Anglesey (8.3), Corresponding districts in England are Gunnislake (13.0), Brixham (9.3), Salt-burn (8.5), Helston (8.2), Thorne (8.2) and Whitby (8.0). The relatively high unemployment in the Principality is mainly due to a concentration particularly in South Wales, of declining older industries. Government policy is to encourage diversification and modernisation to expand employment.

Mr. Thornton

asked the Minister of Labour how many jobs have been lost in the last i6 years in textiles, mining and agriculture in the North-West region; and how this compares with the jobs lost in Scotland in agriculture, mining and shipbuilding during the same period.

Mr. Hattersley

The only reliable and comprehensive figures for these industries in the North-Western region and in Scotland are those derived from the changes in the numbers employed and relate to the middle of the year.

Following are the changes between 1950 and 1966 in employees in employment for the industries concerned.

Textiles -180
Mining and quarrying -30
Agriculture and horticulture -17

Agriculture and horticulture -37
Mining and quarrying -41
Shipbuilding and ship repairing -18