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Job Creation

Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many new jobs he estimates need to be created by 1980 to provide employment for those coming on to the labour market, either for the first time, through technological innovation, or increased productivity.

If present trends continue, we estimate that about 140,000 additional people each year may be seeking employment. No reliable estimates exist of the employment effects of technological innovation or increased productivity.

Is my hon. Friend aware that estimates have been made that about 2 million new jobs will be needed to take account of the factors mentioned in the Question? Does he agree that the country's track record in creating new jobs, particularly in manufacturing industry, has left a great deal to be desired? Does the Minister also agree that sustained public expenditure cuts over a long period will aggravate and not improve the situation?

My hon. Friend knows that public expenditure restraint is an integral part of the Government's economic and industrial strategy, and we believe that that strategy is the right road to full employment.