HC Deb 29 June 1983 vol 44 cc90-1W
Mr. Fox

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has plans to improve the information available concerning the labour force.

Mr. Tebbit

I have decided to improve the statistics of the labour force so as to provide a more comprehensive, accurate and up to date picture.

I am therefore arranging for the Labour Force Survey, hitherto conducted every two years, to be replaced by a more frequent survey. This will provide annual data in as much detail as in the present biennial survey, together with indications of trends in the course of the year for broad groups within the labour force. The new survey will provide, in particular, an improved indication of trends in self-employment, a check on trends in the number of employees—between triennial censuses of employment — a more up to date guide to trends in the overall labour force and activity rates, and more frequent survey-type information on the unemployed to supplement that from the monthly count. Plans are being made for the new survey to be introduced from the beginning of 1984.

I am also concerned that this and other information relating to employment should be fully analysed. I am therefore setting up a new unit within the Department of Employment with responsibility for the oversight of labour market research.

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