§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many companies in the West Midlands are in receipt of the temporary short-time subsidy; how many employees are involved; and how this compares with the position (a) three months ago and (b) six months ago.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
[pursuant to his reply 27 October 1980, c. 145]: I regret that the information is not available in the form requested, but I am able to provide the following information for our Midlands region.
(a) the number of employees covered by the temporary short-time working compensation scheme in September was 72,400 saving potential 31,400 redundancies.
(b) the comparable figures for June were 40,200 and 19,800 and for April 29,200 and 13,500.280W
about one-third of all vacancies in the economy as a whole. Because of this, and of possible duplication between the separate figures for employment offices and careers offices, the two series should not be added together and cannot be used to provide the ratios requested.
1. Separate statistical information for the West Midlands can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
2. We keep no records on a company basis—some of whom may have more than one successful claim current.
3. A change in the method of calculation between March and April 1980 means that the March figures are not comparable to those for June and September, and therefore April figures are given in the reply. Up to and including March 1980 figures were given on the basis of the numbers of workers covered by approved applications for short-time working. Experience of the first year of the scheme showed that many employers had ended short-time working before reaching the end of their maximum period of entitlement. A better indication of the current coverage is given by the numbers of workers for whom payments are made in each month, and figures have been published from April 1980 on this basis. The figures for March 1980 on the old basis show that employers had applied to put 55,957 workers on short-time working in that month to save 27.891 redundancies.