asked the Minister of Labour what was the number of unemployed in the northern region at December, 1961, as compared with December, 1951; what percentage increase this represents of the 1951 figure; and what are the reasons for the increase.
40,245 and 29,360 respectively, an increase of 37·1 per cent. But to get this into perspective the level of employment had risen, and the percentage of unemployment in fact rose from 2·2 per cent. to 2·5. The higher level of unemployment in December, 1961, was mainly due to reduced activity in construction, iron and steel and shipbuilding and repairing; and there were also a large number of registrants for Christmas employment.