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Ec (Employment Statistics)

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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asked the Paymaster General if he will place in the Official Report a table showing the percentage employment growth or reduction in each country of the EEC between 1986 and 1987 to date.

The latest available information is for the fourth quarter of 1986. During the year to this quarter, the increase in civilian employment was 0·7 per cent. in the United Kingdom compared with 1·0 per cent. in the Federal Republic of Germany, 0·7 per cent. in Italy and 3·2 per cent. in Spain. I regret that figures for other Community countries are much less up to date.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that unemployment in this country is now not only equal to the European Community average but is falling more quickly than in any other industrialised country in the world?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The United Kingdom has a higher percentage of its adult population in employment than any other EEC country except Denmark. Sixty five per cent. of our adult population are in work.