asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men, women, boys and girls, respectively, were registered as unemployed at the Mexborough and Wombwell employment exchanges at the latest available date; what were the corresponding figures for the years 1974, 1975 and 1976; and if he will make a statement on what action he intends to take to find jobs for these unemployed persons.
At 10th March there were provisionally 1,632 males and 780 females. In March 1974 the figures were 1,399 and 218, in March 1975 1,234 and 281, and in March 1976 1,629 and 633. Separate figures are not available for men, women, boys and girls. Mexborough and Wombwell should benefit from the extensions of the Job Creation Programme, Work Experience Programme and Youth Employment Subsidy Scheme, which were announced early this month. We have also provided more support for training and for a further expansion of Community Industry.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the population in Mexborough and district is smaller than it was four decades ago? Is he further aware that that decline is mainly due to young people having to leave the district to find jobs elsewhere? Will he now take another look at this area? If my hon. Friend cannot include the whole of South Yorkshire, will he make this area a special development district? Does my hon. Friend appreciate that although an advance factory was built in the area three years ago not one job has been provided as a result?
Development area status is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry. I appreciate the problems of the area. I shall consider them personally and carefully with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and draw the attention of the Secretary of State for Industry to my hon. Friend's concern.