HC Deb 20 October 1994 vol 248 cc325-6W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the change in the numbers unemployed since 1990; and to which of the factors and reforms listed in section 5.1 and annex 2, "Employment: The Challenge for the Nation", Cmnd. 9474, he ascribes the change.

Mr. Oppenheim

There are two main measures of employment used in Great Britain: the "Workforce in Employment" which is based on a survey of employers, and the labour force survey, which is a survey of households. The "Workforce in Employment" estimates of the changes in full-time employment in Great Britain since 1984 are shown in the table:

Males Females
June 1984 to June 1990 +500,000 +834,000
June 1990 to June 1994 -1,683,000 -423,000
June 1984 to June 1994 -1,182,000 +412,000
The corresponding estimates based on the LFS are:
Spring 1984 to Spring 1990 +811,000 +1,019,00
Spring 1990 to Summer 1994 -1,253,000 -359,000
Spring 1984 to Summer 1994 -442,000 +660,000


seasonally adjusted figures

There is currently some discrepancy between the two measures, and work is being done to ascertain the reasons for the differences.

The figures show how full-time employment moved during different stages in the economic cycle. However, a comparison of total employment at similar stages in the economic cycle is a broader indicator of Britain's recent employment record. The "Work force in employment" grew by around 1.5 million between peaks in the last cycle–1979 and 1990. This is the fastest rate of growth at least since the 1960s. The growth in the "Work force in employment" between the troughs in the last cycle–1983 to 1993—was of a similar order of magnitude. It is likely that the Government's policies, such as those in the White Paper cited above, contributed to this performance.

Mr. Parry

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of unemployment in(a) the Liverpool, Riverside constituency and (b) Merseyside at the latest available date; and if he will make a statement on what measures are being taken to reduce these figures.

Mr. Oppenheim

The table gives the unadjusted claimant unemployed in the Liverpool, Riverside constituency and the county of Merseyside for September 1986, 1993 and 1994.

Month Year Total
September 1986 140,472
September 1993 96,516
September 1994 87,814
Liverpool, Riverside
September 1986 11,652
September 1993 7,458
September 1994 6,973

The Government are committed to reducing unemployment by supporting the development of a more productive and competitive economy which will create better-paid and more secure jobs in the labour market.