HC Deb 24 January 1983 vol 35 cc329-30W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will arrange for the Employment Gazette to publish a table showing for the previous five years for selected countries the number of unemployed people and the percentage rate of unemployment by year and by quarter.

Mr. Gummer

Table 2.18 of theEmployment Gazette already publishes for 18 countries the annual averages of the number of unemployed in the previous five years, and, on both actual and seasonally adjusted bases, figures for recent quarters and months, together with the latest percentage rate.

Mr. McMahon

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of registered unemployed persons, both male and female, in December 1982; and what is his estimate of the non-registered unemployed at the same date.

Mr. Alison

At 9 December, the number of unemployed claimants—new basis—in the United Kingdom was 3,096,997; 2,267,993 were male and 829,004 were female. Figures on the old basis of registrations are no longer compiled.

In October 1982, the last month in which a count of unemployed registrations was conducted, there was a total of 161,182 people (61,518 males and 99,664 females) who were registered for full-time work but who were not claiming benefit. This number was seasonally high and is not necessarily representative of other months.

It is estimated that in 1979, the latest year for which complete information is available, about a third of a million people were seeking work but were not registered as unemployed. Later infomation suggests that the numbers were similar in 1980 and not substantially higher in 1981. Estimates of the unregistered unemployed in 1981 which take account of information from the 1981 Census of Population are currently in preparation and will be published in an early edition of the Employment Gazette.

Various surveys over the years—the latest in 1981—have also suggested that for one reason or other some of the registered unemployed are not actively looking for work or are not concerned about being out of work. Estimates of the proportion range between 10 and 20 per cent. varying in part with the coverage and timing of the surveys. These survey estimates have a degree of uncertainty reflecting sampling errors and other survey difficulties, and are not necessarily representative of the position in 1982–83.