Mr. Jim Callaghan
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the percentage increase in unemployment in men and women over the last four years.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
Between February 1980 and February 1984, the numbers of unemployed male and female claimants in the United Kingdom increased by 125 per cent. and 141 per cent., respectively. The figure for males is affected by the 1983 Budget provisions which meant that some men aged 60 and over no longer had to sign on in order to receive supplementary benefit or national insurance credits. It is estimated that about 161,800 men, that is 16 per cent. of the February 1980 level, were relieved of the need to sign on.