§ Mr. Norman Atkinson
asked the Prime Minister what assessments she makes of trends in the level of employment in manufacturing industry; and whether she has any plans to revise these in the light of the Confederation of British Industry's quarterly survey referred to by her in her answer of 26 April, Official Report, c. 730.
§ The Prime Minister
The Department of Employment's latest provisional estimates of manufacturing employment in Great Britain show a fall of 14,000 between January and February this year. This is less than the average decline of 34,000 a month in the previous four months — the period covered by the CBI quarterly survey published in January — but it is too soon to regard this as indicating a change in trend. However, the latest CBI survey, published last week, shows that manufacturers expect the reduction in employment in the four months from April to be less than in the previous four months. The survey also shows that firms expect rises in output and improved order books, which are necessary before employment in manufacturing industry increases.