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Unemployment And Unfilled Vacancies

Volume 981: debated on Monday 17 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment, further to his reply dated 12 February concerning unemployment and unfilled vacancies, how much has been spent each year since 1970 in improving the employment offices; and to what extent this has increased the official share of the number of vacancies in the United Kingdom as a whole.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission, which is responsible for the public employment service, that information on expenditure is available only for part of this period. The following table shows, for each finan- cial year since 1975–76 the cost of improving employment service premises expressed in terms of capital expenditure —including professional fees—on adaptations and furnishings.

Financial YearCost of Improvements
£ million
1975–764·0
1976–776·4
1977–786·3
1978–795·3
1979–80 (latest estimate)5·8
There is no information available about the extent to which the public employment service has increased its share of the total number of vacancies over the period. However, in a survey carried out in 1977 it was estimated that the share in Great Britain then was 34 per cent and between 1975 and 1976 and 1978 and 1979 the annual number of vacancies notified increased by 40 per cent. from 1·91 million to 2·68 million.