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Volume 990: debated on Monday 4 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement detailing his plans to reduce the high level of unemployment in Wales; and if he will give a date when these plans will be implemented.

Unemployment in Wales, as elsewhere, will not decrease until inflation is reduced significantly and the conditions are created for sustained growth. The speed with which this is achieved depends on a number of factors, including the moderation of wage awards in both the public and private sectors. In addition, the provision of industrial sites and factories will help to attract new employment, particularly to the steel closure areas.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the likely trends of unemployment in Wales in 12 months' and two years' time.

I expect unemployment to rise in the short term. I hope that the trend will be reversed as inflation is checked and the conditions created for a sustained period of growth of output and jobs.