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Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Labour to make a statement on the general employment position in Wales, compared with a convenient date 12 months ago and in 1951.

In June, 1954, the number of persons unemployed in Wales was 19,600, which was the lowest June figure in any year since the war. It was 6,000 fewer than in June, 1953, and 1,000 less than in June, 1951. Statistics to show the number of persons in employment in Wales at mid-1954 are not yet available. Between June, 1951, and June, 1953, the total in employment rose by 12,000, and all the indications are that employment has continued to expand this year.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the maintenance of such a high level of employment in Wales is giving satisfaction to people in all walks of life, and will he pay some particular attention to one or two spots in the North which, I believe, have particular difficulties?

Yes. I think it is only fair to say that there are still difficulties ahead and that the level of employment in Wales is not as high as the level in the best areas in England. Nevertheless, progress has been remarkable, and I think we shall maintain it.

Would the hon. Gentleman say what are the prospects for the better employment of shipbuilding repair workers and wet dockers in Wales?