HC Deb 30 November 1983 vol 49 cc515-6W
25. Mr. Malone

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on current unemployment figures in the Grampian region.

Mr. Allan Stewart

On 13 October 1983 the number of unemployed persons in Grampian region was 15,594. The unemployment rate was 8.5 per cent., well below the overall Scottish figure of 14.9 per cent. The region is in approximately the same position as the same time last year when the number of unemployed claimants stood at 15,000 and the percentage rate was 8.3 per cent. The general trend in Scotland is that the rate of increase in unemployment is slowing down and the available evidence supports the same pattern in Grampian region.

33. Mr. Kennedy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the total increase in unemployment in the Highland region since June 1979.

Mr. Allan Stewart

With the introduction of voluntary registration in October 1982 the basis for compiling unemployment statistics changed from registrants to claimants and the figures before and after that date are not therefore comparable.

The increase in the number of registrants in the Highland region from June 1979 to October 1982 was 4,598. The increase in the number of unemployed claimants between October 1982 and October 1983, the latest date for which information is available, was 11.

34. Mr. Russell Johnston

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress he expects in the reduction of unemployment in Scotland in the next year.

Mr. Allan Stewart

It has not been the practice of this or previous Governments to forecast unemployment. Recent figures, however, are encouraging: over the past year the rise in unemployment in Scotland has moderated very considerably and in fact the seasonally adjusted total in October was over 2,000 lower than in July.