ACCORDING to the report of the Ministry of Labour for the year 1937, for the second year in succession there was an exceptionally steep rise in the numbers of insured persons in the industrial field, the total, excluding juveniles under sixteen years of age and persons insured under the special agricultural scheme, reaching 13·4 millions, an increase of 350,000 on 1936. The increase was particularly marked in the age group 16–17, boys accounting for more than 50 per cent and girls for more than 80 per cent of the total net increases for their respective sexes. The total increase in the numbers of boys and girls during the last two years was more than 427,000, and it is a remarkable illustration of the improvement in industry that the whole of the new labour which has become available at these ages has been absorbed. The usual seasonal decline in employment was much less marked than usual, and thereafter the number of insured persons in employment increased steadily to a peak of 11,672,000 in August, when a change was made in the method of counting. Thereafter a slight decline in employment continued to the end of the year, the average level of employment for the year being about 500,000 higher than in 1936.