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Labour Force

Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report (a) the size of the labour force in 1977 and (b)the estimated size in 1979. and an estimate of the number of new jobs which will be required if the Government are to meet their target of an unemployment level of 700,000 in that year.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 22nd February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 553], gave the following information:The size of the labour force in Great Britain at the end of 1976 is estimated to have been approaching 26 million. It is provisionally estimated that the labour force may grow by about 140,000 a year on average over the next few years, roughly three-quarters of which may be accounted for by married women, if the

19701971197219731974(thousands) 1975
Total public sector*6,4806,5816,6566,7606,8867,242
Local authoritiest†2,5592,6512,7712,8902,8442,993
H.M. Forces372368371361345336
Services sectors‡12,67612,74912,99313,41013,57513,897
* As defined by the National Accounts; includes all those employed by local authorities and in H.M. Forces, and some employed in the services sector.
† Estimates for 1974 and 1975, after the re-organisation of local government in England and Wales, are not directly comparable with those for previous years.
‡Including the self-employed: this sector comprises order groups XXII to XXVII of the Standard Industrial Classification (1968), and hence will include many of those already shown as employed in the public sector and by local authorities.
Numbers employed in the Civil Service are as follows: as at 1st July for the years 1971 to 1976
19711972197319741975(thousands) 1976
Civil Service (total)*697·2689·1693·3690·4†708·0!744–1§
Civil Departments*416·4415·9423·7426·2†442·0‡480·4§
Ministry of Defence*280·8273·2269·7264·2266·0263·7
* Estimates are on a full-time equivalent basis, counting two part-time employees as one full-time equivalent.
†Excluding the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) and the Training Services Agency (TSA).
‡Excluding the MSC, TSA and the Employment Services Agency (ESA).
§Including the MSC, TSA and ESA, the staff of which were re-instated as civil servants on 1st January 1976 under the Employment Protection Act 1975.

recent rising trends in the proportion seeking work are continued. To reduce the level of registered unemployment to 700,000 by the end of 1979 would require a net addition of rather more than 1 million jobs or training places provided there are no unexpected changes affecting the labour force.