The main part of the West Cumberland Special Area depends traditionally on coal mining and iron and steel. The acute depression of West Cumberland before the war was due to the contraction of employment in the whole of the iron, steel, and coal group of industries. Cumberland has a high rate of natural increase, and a result of the declining level of employment there was simultaneously severe unemployment and considerable migration to other parts of the country. The solution of West Cumberland's problems was attempted before the war on very much the same lines as in South Wales or on the North-east Coast, and with greater success. An extensive programme of re-housing and re-development is also needed, even from a purely economic point of view. The general standard of housing in West Cumberland is low, and there is a particular lack of good middle-class housing of the type which is wanted by the managers and other officials of new factories.