HC Deb 26 October 1977 vol 936 c873W
Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide figures for the percentage unemployed in the public and private sectors of the economy in August, on the same basis as those contained in the table published in Written Answers, Official Report, 22nd February 1977, column 557.

Mr. Golding:

Separate unemployment rates for the private and public sectors can be calculated only in an imprecise way by allocating the figures for each Minimum List Heading of the Standard Industrial Classification to the sector appropriate to the majority of those in that classification. On this basis, the percentages for August were 5.5 in the private sector and 2-9 in the public sector.

Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what would be the overall cost of guaranteeing every adult who is at present unemployed a job at 50 per cent. of the national average wage, and with corresponding rates for young people; and how this would compare with current expenditure on unemployment benefit and all other grants, subsidies, etc., designed to relieve unemployment.

Mr. Golding:

It is estimated that to pay every person at present unemployed in Great Britain a wage of half the national average weekly earnings would cost about £2,500 million a year. There would be additional costs involved, e.g. for administration, materials, which would depend upon the types of projects involved.

The estimated expenditure on unemployment and supplementary benefit and the special measures in the financial year 1977-78 will be about £1,822 million.