§ Mr. Gordon Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many and what percentage of people in Blackpool aged 17 to 25 years are currently claiming the jobseeker's allowance. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
It is not possible to provide the precise information as requested but I can confirm that in April 1997 there were 1,283 people aged between 17 and 24 who were receiving JSA. It is not possible to give an unemployment rate for particular age groups. I can confirm that the unemployment rate for all age groups for the North West, based on May 1997 information, is 5.3 per cent.
§ Mr. Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will review the operation of the jobseeker's allowance with particular reference to the impact of the six-month rule on those seeking or involved in seasonal employment in the leisure and tourist industries. 
§ Mr. Howarth
Our Welfare to Work objectives are to provide work incentives, to reduce poverty and welfare dependency and to strike a new balance between rights and responsibilities. A programme of monitoring and evaluation is under way to enable us to ensure that Jobseeker's Allowance contributes to achieving our objectives. In addition to this major evaluation exercise, we shall also keep the individual benefit rules under active consideration as we develop our plans.