HC Deb 30 July 1982 vol 28 c829W
Mr. Straw

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his statement, Official Report, 27 July 1982, c. 999, that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development figures for seasonally adjusted unemployment in France over the past 12 months has shown an increase to 10.6 per cent. in May 1982, whether the source and basis of this figure is the same as that used in the answer to the hon. Member for Blackburn, Official Report, 6 July, c. 74; and, if not, what are the differences.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The unemployment rate of 10.6 per cent. in France in May 1982 was derived by the Department of Employment from French national statistics as published in the OECD's Main Economic Indicators. Its basis is explained in the footnotes to table 2.18 of theDepartment of Employment Gazette. It is not on the same basis as the figures used in the answer to which the hon. Member refers, which are published by the OECD themselves for selected countries. The series published in the Department of Employment Gazette uses a numerator of officially registered unemployed and a denominator of total employees. The OECD's standardised series has a numerator adjusted by the OECD secretariat to reflect their assessment of the level of unemployment which would be shown by a labour force survey, and a denominator comprising the total labour force.