§ 21. Mr. Lipton
asked the Minister of Labour how many persons are now registered as unemployed at the Brixton Employment Exchange; and what the corresponding figure was last year.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
Two thousand one hundred and fifty-five at 11th February, 1957, compared with 1,344 at 13th February, 1956.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the Minister aware that, while the local employment exchange is doing everything in its power to deal with 1378 the problem, an increase of about 66 per cent. in unemployment is shown at many other exchanges in the south London area? Is he aware that great concern has already been expressed by the advisory committee of the Regional Board of Industry in the face of what appears to be the definite impact of unemployment in London? What is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to do about it?
§ Mr. Macleod
The hon. Gentleman is very skilful at selecting the years, but he knows that he is comparing what is happening this year, with all its difficulties, with last year, in which there was a record low level of unemployment. It is not surprising, therefore, that a substantial increase is shown. The general figures for previous years are much more comparable with the ones for this year. With regard to unemployment trends over the country, the February figures, which are not yet published, are almost exactly the same as the January figures, and do not show a marked worsening of the position.