§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the unemployment rate in Scotland, each European Economic Community country, Japan, Canada, and the United States of America in the latest year and in 1979.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
I have been asked to reply.
The following table gives the available OECD standardised unemployment rates:
OECD standardised unemployment rates* 1979 1983 Belgium 8.4 14.5 France 5.9 8.0 German F.R. 3.2 8.0 Italy 7.5 9.7 Netherlands 5.4 13.7 United Kingdom 5.6 13.1 Canada 7.4 11.8 Japan 2.1 2.6 United States 5.8 9.5
*Percentage of the total labour force.
Comparable OECD standardised unemployment rates are not available for the other countries requested. The following table gives the available figures published by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (SOEC). The figures are not comparable because of differing definitions and coverage of unemployment. This qualification applies in particular to the figures for Greece:
Unemployment rates* 1979 1983 Denmark 5.8 10.4 Greece 0.9 1.7 Ireland 7.4 15.2 Luxembourg 0.7 1.5
*Registered unemployed as a percentage of the civilian working population.
Claimant unemployment expressed as a percentage of employees plus the unemployed for Scotland was 7.4 per cent. in 1979 and 1.9 per cent. in 1983. This comparison is affected by the 1983 Budget provisions which enabled some men aged 60 and over to receive the long-term rate of supplementary benefit and national insurance credits without having to sign on.