HC Deb 07 November 1977 vol 938 cc20-2W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing the percentage of single mothers in part-time and full-time employment, respectively, in each year since 1969, and distinguishing between widows and divorced, separated or unmarried mothers.

Mr. Orme,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 22nd July 1977: Vol. 935, c. 758], gave the following information :

The percentages requested are set out for April 1971 in table 1 below. This table was prepared for the Finer Committee on One-Parent Families and ap-



Status Total oflone mothers Percentage infull-time work Percentage inpart-time work
Single 90,000 27 12
Married 190,000 23 18
Divorced 120,000 30 20
Widows 120,000 24 29
Total 520,000 25 20

I regret that information in the same form and on the same basis is not available for other years since 1969. Table 2 below, however, includes estimates of the percentages of lone mothers in employment for 1974 and 1975 based on Family

Thousands and percentages
Employment situation if heads of family Female heads 1974 Male heads All one-parent families Female heads 1975 Male heads All one-parent families
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
No. No. No. No. No. No.
Working for an employer. full-time 170 31 70 83 240 38 180 33 80 74 260 39
Working for an employer. part-time 120 21 120 18 80 14 80 12
Self-employed 50 8 [10] [13] 60 9 [20] [4] [10] [11] [40] [5]

Notes on Table 2. The numbers of families shown in table 2 are round to the nearest 10,000 and the percentages to the nearest whole number. In consequence, the sum of component parts may not equal the total. The percentages in columns (2) and (5) are of all female-headed one-parent families ; those in columns (3) and (6) are of all male-headed one-parent families ; and those in columns (4) and (7) are of all one-parent families. The current total number of all one-parent families is not known hut a total of 650,000 has been assumed for the purpose of producing this table.

The estimates in table 2 have been derived from a Department of Health and Social Security analysis of the incomes and other information recorded by respondents to the FES for 1974 and 1975. They are subject to sampling error—those in square brackets considerably so.

The FES does not distinguish between widows, divorced, separated and unmarried mothers.

The estimates in the table relate only to the population living in private households, since families and persons living in institutions are not included in the FES sample.

The self-employed are shown separately because their hours of work are not recorded pears on page 409 of volume 1 of its report (Cmnd. 5629 ; July 1974). It was based on an analysis of data from the last Census, held in 1971

Expenditure Survey (FES) data. These estimates are subject to the limitations described in the notes below the table. It is not possible without disproportionate expense to produce similar information for earlier years.

in the FES and it is not therefore known whether they should be classified as ful-time or part-time workers.

Families with the head in part-time work, including some self-employed—see note (v)— may he in receipt of supplementary benefit.

The estimates include those normally in employment who had been off work due to unemployment or sickness for less than three months at the date of the survey.

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