§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list(a) the changes in regulations or procedures which have had knock-on effects on the unemployment figures and (b) the changes made to the basis for calculation of the unemployment figures since 1979, with a brief explanation of the reason for each change.
§ Mr. Lee
I am sending the hon. Member a list of the changes affecting the unemployment figures since 1979 which was published on page 422 of the October 1986 issue ofEmployment Gazette, a copy of which is in the Library. Since then there has been one further significant change in the coverage of the unemployment count resulting from the recent extension of the YTS guarantee, and the introduction in September 1988 of new benefit regulations, for under 18-year-olds. Further details are given in an article on page 660 in the December 1988 issue of Employment Gazette.
In addition, as described on page 56 of the August 1988 issue of Employment Gazette, a further minor amendment was made in July 1988 to the denominators used for calculating national and regional unemployment rates, to include those on work-related Government training schemes in line with their inclusion in the statistics of the employed work force. This change did not affect the numbers included in the unemployment count.
§ Mr. Lee
My Department does not estimate unemployment on any previous definition as it is impossible to estimate what the various effects of changes in coverage of the unemployment count would now be. I refer the hon. Member to page 422 of the October 1986 issue ofEmployment Gazette and page 660 of the December 1988 issue for more detailed information.