§ Mr. Geoffrey Robinson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce measures to prevent a further decline in the proportion of the work force employed in manufacturing industry.
§ Mr. Trippier
My prime concern is with the absolute level of employment in the economy, which is now rising. The proportion of the work force employed in manufacturing industry is on a long-standing downward trend in all the major OECD countries. This is to be expected as living standards improve and is not in itself a cause for concern. The economic recovery is now well established and, as our policies demonstrate, I believe manufacturing industry must continue to play an important role.