HL Deb 28 April 1981 vol 419 cc1165-6WA
Lord Sefton of Garston

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is true that the percentage of unemployed is based on the number of registered employees (employed and unemployed) in 1977; and, if so, whether they would estimate what difference it would make it the regional percentages were based on 1980 figures of employees rather than 1977.

The Minister of State, Department of Employment (The Earl of Gowrie)

The national, regional and Greater London unemployment rates are at present based on the numbers of employees, employed and unemployed, at June 1979 but will be moved to a June 1980 base next month; these rates will be very little affected by the change of base. In calculating these rates, the numbers of employed are based on sample surveys. Unemployment rates for local areas, however, require local employment figures from the fuller censuses of employment. The latest available census results are for June 1977; local data from the June 1978 census of employment should become available later this year, and this will provide a fresh basis for local unemployment rates.

It is not practicable to assess what differences would arise were it possible to recalculate local rates on a June 1980 base. In many areas, the number of employed and unemployed people combined, used for calculating unemployment rates, does not change much over the years, so that the rates will be substantially unchanged. However, in some areas, the net movement into and out of the workforce may be more marked, and the rates will be more affected.