The January unemployment figures invariably show A big rise over figures for the previous month owing to the influence of the seasonal decline in work after Christ- Inas and the withdrawal of large numbers of children from school; and it is pointed out that the seasonal decline in building and public works wat accentuated by un- favourable weather conditions on January 28th. Even so it is undeniably disturbing to find that the increase in the number of registered unemployed is no fewer than 239,000. It is true, the totalis • fewer than at the same period last year by 63,000 ;\, but that i no very great improvement. Coal-mining, engineering, ship-building and iron and steel all maintain substantial improvement as compared with a year ago ; buktextiles are in a bad way, unemployment in the woollen and worsted and hosiery trades being actually worse than in January, 1934. It would be improper to form general conclusions from the statistics of the last month ; but they are a relpinskr. of how far we have to go before the stage of severely abnormal unemployment is over. The January trade returns, on the other hand, with a substantial increase in exports, are distinctly encouraging. But the process of recovery lags lamentably.