The Employment Figures The latest unemployment figures, showing an increase
of 47,000 more persons at work, and 57,000 fewer unem- ployed, indicate that the industrial position has now reached a stage roughly intermediate between the worst period of the slump and the normal periods immediately before the slump. Whilst the advance of the last year has been great, there is still a heavy leeway to make up before we reach that normal level of five or six years ago which itself was far from satisfactory. The progress of recent months has been accelerated by seasonal influences which have now reached their maximum. But the steady basic improvement in trades less subject to fluctuation shOws signs of continuing, and we are probably justified in expecting that the progress which went on throughout the summer and autumn of last year will be repeated. But we are as yet still very far from the prospect of the full recovery of our export trades and the shipping and shipbuilding industries. Even here there has been some improvement, but it is very slow, and at the present rate would take years to bring us back to the 1929 level.
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