§ Mr. Lawrence
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is his 155W latest assessment of the numbers of people of all working ages who have been unemployed for (a) six months or more, and (b) 12 months or more;
(2) what is his latest assessment of the numbers of young people under the age of 25 years who have been unemployed for (a) six months or more, and (b) 12 months or more.
Unemployed over 26 and up to 52 weeks Unemployed over 52 weeks Total Aged under 25 years included in total Total Aged under 25 years included in total 12th January 1978 276,820 104,780 333,917 59,547 13th April 1978 284,396 — 332,311 —
§ Mr. Golding
Based on seasonally adjusted figures, which exclude school leavers, the increase for Great Britain between March 1974 and June 1978 was 135 per cent.
The special employment and training measures which were announced on 15th March are still developing. In particular, the youth opportunities programme and the special temporary employment scheme came into operation on 1st April. From the same date, the job release scheme was extended to cover the whole country and from 1st July the weekly allowance for a married person with a dependent spouse was increased to £35 tax free. The short-time working scheme for the textile, clothing and footwear industries came into operation on 15th May.
As from 1st July the small firms employment subsidy scheme has been enlarged to cover small manufacturing firms with fewer than 200 employees and situated in assisted areas and the inner city partnership areas. Consultations are also taking place on a general scheme of compensation for short-time working as a means of averting redundancies.