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Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 31 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the recent unemployment figures on Merseyside.

At 11 January, 87,344 people were registered as unemployed in the Merseyside special development area. This represents an unemployment percentage rate of 11·6 per cent. The Government recognise that the level of unemployment on Merseyside remains far too high but we are determined to do all we can to reduce it substantially. In addition to the various forms of financial assistance, which as a special development area it receives under the Government's regional policy, Merseyside has benefited from the wide range of special employment and training measures which have so far helped over 55,000 people there. The success of many of these measures, particularly those directed towards young people, depends to a large extent upon the co-operation of employers, trade unions, local authorities and voluntary organisations and I would appeal to them to do all they can to help. Merseyside will also benefit from the assistance granted under the Government's inner city policy to the Liverpool partnership.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report the number of unemployed under 18 years, between 18 years and 30 years, 30 and 50 years, and 50 and 65 years, respectively, on Merseyside at the latest available date.

Following is the information for the Merseyside special development area at 12 October 1978, the latest date for which the quarterly age analysis is available.

under 1813,081
18 to 2937,412
30 to 4923,700
50 to 6413,835

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many construction

Special development areasNumbers registered as unemployed who last worked in the construction industryPercentage rate of unemployment in the construction industry
West Cumberland63215·3
North-West Wales1,02916·5
South Wales3,20018·3
Dundee and Arbroath91711·0
Leven and Methil1458·1
west Central Scotland13,53716·1
All special development areas—excluding Merseyside33,30317·3
The numbers unemployed relate to the employment office areas which comprise the special development areas. The unemployment rates have been calculated for the "best-fit" of complete travel-to-work areas, the rates for Glenrothes and Leven and Methil are for the Kirkcaldy travel-to-work area while for Livingston the rate is that for the Bathgate travel-to-work area.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to reduce unemployment in the construction industry on Merseyside, in the light of the recent unemployment figures; and if he will make a statement.