HC Deb 13 December 1985 vol 88 cc799-801W
Mr. John Fraser

asked the Paymaster General when he expects to be able to tell how many unemployed people in Lambeth are black.

Mr. Alan Clark

The collection of ethnic minority unemployment statistics was discontinued in August 1982 following the introduction of voluntary registration for employment at jobcentres. At present there are no immediate plans to introduce ethnic monitoring in Lambeth. The Department of Employment is to undertake pilot tests early in the new year to assess the feasibility of resuming the collection of these statistics.

The pilot tests will take place in the unemployment benefit offices in Stockton, Thornton Heath and Toxteth for a period of two weeks from Monday 6 January 1986. The benefit office staff will make a visual assessment of the ethnic origin of unemployed people and classify them under one of three broad categories: Afro-Caribbean, Asian and others. Participation will be voluntary. There will be a category for all those not wishing to be classified. Posters will be prominiently displayed to ensure that individuals are aware that an assessment of their ethnic origin is being made.

Mr. Wheeler

asked the Paymaster General how many (i) employed and (ii) self-employed people there are in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Greater London; what information he has as to comparable figures for other European Community countries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark

In June 1985, the latest date for which figures are available, the number of employees in employment in the United Kingdom was estimated to be 21,292,000. In Greater London the figure was 3,466,000.

Details are not available from the Department's statistics on the number of self-employed in Greater London, but the provisional estimate of the number of self-employed in the United Kingdom in June 1985 was 2,620,000.

Figures on the number of employees and self-employed in other European Community countries are given on pages 125 and 124 of "Employment and Unemployment 1985", published by the statistical office of the European Communities, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Mr. Ron Leighton

asked the Paymaster General if he will list the number of jobs lost in the London borough of Newham since 1979 analysed by the standard industrial classification.

Mr. Alan Clark

Information about job losses and job gains is not available from the Department's statistics. Net changes in employment can be given but, for areas smaller than regions, only for those dates when censuses of employment are taken.

The available information for the local authority district of Newham is from the June 1978 and the following September 1981 census of employment and is as follows. net changes between 1981 and 1984 will become available following publication of the September 1984 census in the spring of 1986.

Net changes in the numbers of employees in employment June 1978 to September 1981
Standard industrial classification 1968 Thousands
All industries and services* -11.9
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Mining and quarrying
Food, drink and tobacco -1.2
Coal and petroleum products
Chemicals and allied industries -1.0
Metal manufacture -0.3
Mechanical engineering + 1.5
Instrument engineering
Electrical engineering
Shipbuilding and marine engineering -0.6
Vehicles -0.1
Metal goods not elsewhere specified -0.1
Leather, leather goods and fur -0.1
Clothing and footwear -0.5
Bricks, pottery, glass, cement, etc. -0.1
Timber, furniture, etc. -0.8
Paper, printing and publishing -0.5
Other manufacturing industries -0.3
Construction -0.3
Gas, electricity and water +0.1
Transport and communication -2.7
Distributive trades -1.0
Insurance, banking, finance and business services -0.6
Professional and scientific services -0.4
Miscellaneous services* +1.3
Public administration and defencet† -4.4
*Excludes private domestic service.
†Excludes HM Forces.
*Nil or negligible.

Mr. Peter Bruinvels

asked the Paymaster General if, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Leicester, East of 9 December, he will provide information on the level of under-representation in particular work, the particular racial groups involved and geographical locations in such form as the information is available; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

[pursuant to his reply, 12 December 1985: Successive research studies have shown that people from the ethnic minorities are substantially under-represented in higher level occupations. In particular, a comprehensive survey of employment undertaken in 1982 for the Policy Studies Institute study "Black and White Britain" showed that the percentage of people in work classified as professional employers or managers were as follows:

White West Indian Asian
Men 22 7 14
Women 9 1 7

This pattern is confirmed by the results of the EC labour force survey.

Against this general background, positive action initiatives under sections 37 and 38 of the Race Relations Act 1976 are based on judgments on the local level of under-representation in each individual case. In the case of section 37 this judgment is made by the training body concerned in the first instance. Action under section 38 is a matter for employers. No information is collected on the number of initiatives taken under this provision.