|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Lee : Estimates for March 1989 are not yet available. In March 1983 there were 2,147,000 self-employed in Great Britain. In December 1988, the latest date for which figures are available, the number was 2,988,000. This represents an increase of 841,000 or 39 per cent. since March 1983.
18. Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Department's policy towards implementation of the European Economic Community fifth directive on company law ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope : We shall continue to oppose vigorously the proposals for compulsory worker participation in this draft directive. They are unnecessary and would seriously damage the excellent voluntary arrangements which exist in many United Kingdom companies.
Mr. Lee : In the standard region of East Anglia, defined as Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, unemployment fell by 19,100, or 34.3 per cent., over the 12 months to March 1989 on the consistent seasonally adjusted basis. It is now at its lowest level for well over eight years ; and the unemployment rate at 3.5 per cent. is less than half of what it was three years ago. 19. Mr. Andrew Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the recent rate of fall in unemployment in the east midlands ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : In the 12 months to March 1989 unemployment in the east midlands fell by 35,500 on the consistent seasonally adjusted basis. At 118,200 unemployment in the region is now at its lowest level for eight years.
Mr. Lee : In the 12 months to March 1989, unemployment in the west midlands fell by 67,800, or 27.2 per cent., on the consistent seasonally adjusted basis and is now at its lowest level for well over eight years. The unemployment rate in the west midlands is now down to 6.7 per cent. and has been falling faster than in any other region of the country.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of employment in the European Economic Community nations and in European Free Trade Association nations ; and what were the comparable figures five and 10 years ago.
Total civilian employment (Thousands) |1977 |1982 |1987 ----------------------------------------------- EC countries United Kingdom |24,538|23,584|25,060 Belgium |3,665 |3,578 |3,621 Denmark |2,414 |2,476 |2,663 Germany |25,014|25,177|25,440 Greece |3,262 |3,501 |3,597 Spain |12,253|11,043|11,383 France |21,188|21,240|20,976 Ireland |1,068 |1,131 |1,067 Italy |19,791|20,297|20,584 Luxembourg |157 |158 |169 Netherlands |4,701 |5,009 |5,251 Portugal |3,784 |3,959 |4,169 EFTA countries Norway |1,824 |1,943 |2,090 Sweden |4,099 |4,219 |4,337 Finland |2,221 |2,367 |2,414 Iceland |98 |112 |<1>117 Austria |3,222 |3,229 |3,297 Switzerland |3,036 |3,190 |3,273 <1> Figure is for 1986. Sources: United Kingdom-Department of Employment. Other EC countries-EC Statistical Office. EFTA countries-OECD.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table from the 1988 labour force survey, for each Great Britain region and Greater London, by male-female, and claimant status, showing the numbers of people without work who had looked for a job in the four week reference period, and were available to start work within two weeks.
Mr. Lee : The available information for 1988 is given in table A. A reliable analysis of the regional figures by claimant status cannot be provided for individual years, but averages for the four years 1985 to 1988 are given in table B.
Table A People looking for a job in the four week reference period<1> who were available to start work within two weeks ( ILO/OECD unemployed). Great Britain, Spring 1988 (preliminary results) Thousand ------------------------------------------------- South East |293 |240 |533 Greater London |160 |112 |272 Rest of South East |133 |128 |261 East Anglia |28 |30 |58 South West |74 |67 |141 West Midlands |133 |97 |230 East Midlands |89 |64 |153 Yorkshire and Humberside |160 |99 |259 North West |222 |138 |360 North |126 |72 |198 Wales |91 |54 |145 Scotland |183 |114 |297 Great Britain |1,398|976 |2,374 of which: claimants |1,160|460 |1,620 non-claimants |238 |516 |754 <1> Including some waiting to start a new job already obtained, as in the ILO/OECD measure of unemployment.
Table B. ILO/OECD unemployed by claimant status: Averages for four years: spring 1985 to spring 1988<1> Thousand ILO/OECD unemployed of which: Claimants Non-claimants [NL] |Male |Female |Total |Male |Female |Total |Male |Female |Total South East |380 |283 |663 |296 |126 |422 |83 |157 |241 (Greater London) |193 |123 |315 |153 |57 |210 |40 |66 |105 Rest of South East |187 |160 |347 |143 |69 |212 |44 |91 |135 East Anglia |40 |38 |78 |34 |19 |52 |7 |19 |26 South West |95 |81 |176 |77 |38 |115 |18 |43 |61 West Midlands |188 |120 |309 |168 |59 |227 |20 |61 |81 East Midlands |109 |80 |188 |95 |38 |132 |14 |42 |56 Yorkshire and Humberside |174 |108 |282 |155 |55 |210 |19 |53 |71 North West |246 |155 |401 |215 |82 |297 |31 |73 |105 North |133 |73 |206 |121 |39 |159 |13 |34 |47 Wales |102 |63 |165 |91 |31 |122 |11 |31 |42 Scotland |206 |124 |330 |184 |67 |251 |22 |57 |79 Great Britain |1,672 |1,125 |2,797 |1,436 |533 |1,989 |237 |572 |809 <1>Including preliminary results for 1988. Note: The figures from the labour force survey are subject to sampling errors. In some cases figures may not appear to add because of rounding.
100. Mr. Duffy : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are now employed in service industries in South Yorkshire, expressed as a percentage of the workforce ; and what is the comparable figure for the south-east.
Mr. Lee : The available information about employment in the county, taken from the census of employment, is for employees in employment and the latest available figures are for September 1984. At that time, 58 per cent. of all employees in employment in South Yorkshire were employed in service industries ; the comparable September 1984 figure for the South East region was 73 per cent.
More up-to-date employee estimates for counties, from the September 1987 census of employment, will become available later this year.
Mr. Lee : In December 1988 the work force in employment in Great Britain stood at 25,961,000, the highest level on record. This represents an increase of 2,964,000 or 13 per cent. since March 1983. This rising trend has now continued for more than five years. The figures have been adjusted for the effects of seasonal variations. The work force in employment is the sum of employees in employment, the self-employed, Her Majesty's forces and participants in work-related Government training programmes.
Mr. Lee : In the 12 months to March 1989 the level of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in the United Kingdom fell by 535,800, on a consistent basis. Unemployment has now fallen over 32 consecutive months by 1,215,100 since July 1986.
Mr. Lee : In December 1988, the latest date for which figures are available, there were an estimated 138,000 self-employed in East Anglia. This represents an increase of 22,000 or 19 per cent. since December 1986.
Mr. Lee : In the 12 months to March 1989, the level of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in the south-east fell by 159,500, on a consistent basis. At 387,500, unemployment in the south-east is now at its lowest level for more than eight years.
Mr. Lee : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Suffolk, South (Mr. Yeo) and for Norwich, North (Mr. Thompson) on 18 April 1989, Official Report, column 153.
23. Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has plans to increase the numbers in employment in the coalfield communities of north Derbyshire ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : My Department operates a wide range of employment, enterprise and training measures, which are all available in north Derbyshire as elsewhere, and which are helping to increase the numbers in employment.
During the 12 months to March 1989 unemployment in Derbyshire fell by 10,183, 24.2 per cent. of the March 1988 figure.
24. Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if the Government training initiatives aimed at the long-term unemployed includes provision for remedial education where required.
Mr. Nicholls : An important aspect of employment training is to improve trainees' awareness of the work environment and enhance their motivation and confidence. Provision for vocational literacy and numeracy training is included in employment training where unemployed people need such help to benefit fully from occupational training. Where appropriate, training is also offered in English as a second language. The aim is to integrate training in these skills with occupational training wherever possible.
Mr. Nicholls : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 14 February 1989. Consultations with the board and organisations representing employers in the construction industry are continuing.
Mr. Nicholls : Low pay is a relative concept. No matter how much living standards rise, some workers will always be paid less than others. The best way to help the lower paid is through the development of a prosperous and growing economy, which the Government's policies are helping to achieve.
28. Mr. Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to meet representatives of the chambers of commerce to discuss the establishment of training and enterprise councils ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope : Over the past few months, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have had frequent contacts with individual chambers and with the Association of British Chambers of Commerce to discuss the establishment of TECs.
Chambers of commerce have been very active in improving employer commitment to training and are playing a key role in the establishment of TECs. We look to their continued support and involvement.
Mr. Cope : We have been encouraged by the excellent response from employers throughout the country and in East Anglia to our invitation to form training and enterprise councils. A number of employers from the area attended a dinner on training and enterprise councils in late February given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. We understand that a number of groups of employers are interested in establishing training and enterprise councils in East Anglia and we look forward to receiving their proposals.
Mr. Lee : Northumbria already attracts more than 4 million visitors each year. With its combination of beautiful countryside, historic towns, and a wealth of natural and heritage attractions, the region offers considerable potential for further expansion of its tourism industry. The Gateshead garden festival in 1990 will help provide an additional stimulus to the development of the region.
Mr. Lee : It is estimated that, in December 1988, there were 1.4 million employees in employment in tourism-related industries in Great Britain. This figure includes only those catering activities related to tourism. There are no directly comparable estimates for the number of self- employed, but according to the preliminary results of the 1988 labour force survey, it is estimated that there were 0.2 million self-employed workers in the hotel and catering industry in the spring of 1988.
Mr. Cope : Applications for finance from the European social fund for the Borders were forwarded to the European Commission in the normal way and with full support from my Department. The decision on which projects are funded rests with the Commission.
Mr. Cope : Applications for finance from the European social fund for Cornwall were forwarded to the European Commission in the normal way and with full support from my Department. The decision on which projects are funded rests with the Commission.
Mr. Nicholls : Employment training in south Yorkshire continues to make excellent progress providing unemployed people with a wide range of training opportunities to help them acquire the skills and experience needed to get jobs.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether all new recruits to employment training during 1989-90 will continue to receive training premiums of £11.95, £11.25 and £10, depending on their circumstances ; whether he has any plans to increase each of these training premiums in line with inflation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : As was announced on 12 April 1989, from 22 May all new entrants to employment training will be paid a training premium of £10 per week. All trainees receiving a premium of £11.25 or £11.95 at 22 May will continue to do so until they leave the programme.
Column 168expected starts with training managers, excluding conversion from other programmes, on employment training for each month since September 1988, for each training agency area.
Mr. Cope : The United Kingdom has submitted a number of applications for European social fund aid in respect of anticipated expenditure under the employment training programme which are being considered by the European Commission in the light of the total demands being made by the United Kingdom and other member states. The Commission has indicated that European social fund aid is to be allocated for the employment training programme but the amounts are not yet known. A decision will be given shortly.
Mr. Nicholls : Currently there are 66 wages inspectors in post nationally. Arrangements are in hand to bring the number of inspectors up to the full complement of 71. In 1979, there were 158 inspectors.
Mr. Lee : It is estimated from the New Earnings Survey that about 40 per cent. of the adult work force in Great Britain, including both full- time and part-time employees, earned less than £3.80 per hour in April 1988.
Column 169what information he has as to by how much labour costs have increased over the same period in France, West Germany, Japan and the United States of America.
Unit labour costs in manufacturing Percentage changes in the year to the fourth quarter of 1988 |per cent. ----------------------------------- United Kingdom |0.4 France |-1.5 West Germany |0.7 Japan |-2.0 United States |1.1 Notes: 1. The percentages are calculated from index series produced by the International Monetary Fund; the latest available figures for the five countries on a consistent basis are for the fourth quarter of 1988. 2. The source index series are in local currency and are not adjusted for exchange rate changes.
Mr. Cope : In his statement to the House on 13 March, Official Report, column 35, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State referred to the existence of a management buy-out team, and said that he had agreed to give them financial assistance to make a bid when the skills training agency is offered for sale. It is for the team to decide whether to bid when the formal offer for sale occurs.