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Labour Statistics

Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people were out of work in May 1979 and on the latest available date in (a) Clwyd and (b) Wales; and what increases these are in percentage terms.

On II February 1988 the number of unemployed claimants in Clwyd was 19,024. Unadjusted figures for 1979 are not available on a basis that enables a valid comparison to be made.

The seasonally adjusted numbers of unemployed claimants in Wales in May 1979 and February 1988 were 73,100 and 136,700 respectively. I am pleased to say the latest figure shows a decrease of 23 per cent. over the past months.

May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that later this week he will meet Clwyd county council? Will he give sympathetic consideration to the case that the council will make to build a new crossing of the River Dee? Does the right hon. Gentleman understand that, if he gives such sympathetic consideration many new jobs will be developed in an area where there is still mass unemployment?

I gather that it is a local authority scheme and I shall, of course, listen with interest to what the authority has to say.