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Job Vacancies (Recording)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the existing arrangements for recording job vacancies and whether he has any proposals to ensure that the registered numbers of vacancies more accurately reflects the actual numbers of vacancies.

I appreciate that the existing arrangements for recording job vacancies do not provide a measure of total vacancies. As a general guide, there are about three times as many vacancies in the economy as those notified to the Government employment services. However, changes in the numbers of registered vacancies provide a useful indication of trends.

If, as my right hon. Friend stated, only one-third of the vacancies in any area are recorded at the local jobcentre, does he not think there should be a more rigorous campaign directed towards employers or potential employers in order to draw to their attention the facilities available and the good reasons for recording their vacancies at the jobcentres?

Yes, this could be very helpful. In the case of the Post Office and British Rail, for example, certain discussions have been held so that they notify more of their vacancies through the job-centres.

Will my right hon. Friend inform the House about the rate of turnover in the number of vacancies notified? What effect does this have on the turnover in the long and short-term unemployed on the register?

The average inflow of vacancies in the three months ending January this year was 207,000 a month and the average outflow was 215,000 a month. The average number joining the unemployment register in the three months ending January was 382,000 a month and the average number leaving was 363,000 a month. Of course, 200,000 unemployed have been unemployed for four weeks or less and 1ยท1 million for 12 months or less. There is an enormous inflow and outflow.