§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people aged 25 years or over have been unemployed for two years or more in(a) Northavon constituency and (b) South Gloucestershire unitary authority; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many people aged 18 to 24 years have been unemployed for more than six months in (a) Northavon constituency and (b) South Gloucestershire unitary authority. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
[holding answer 10 July 1997]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange a reply to be given.
Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Steven Webb, dated 15 July 1997:The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me as the Director of the Office for National Statistics to reply to your recent questions (7769 and 7700) on unemployment in the Northavon parliamentary constituency and South Gloucestershire unitary authority.The measure of unemployment, derived from the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS), is defined on a consistent and internationally recognised basis set out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and counts as unemployed people who are: a) without a job; b) available to start work within the next two weeks and c) have either looked for work in the last four weeks or are waiting to start a job already obtained. However, largely because it is a sample survey, information is not available from the LFS in as much geographical detail as from the claimant count measure described below.106WONS also publishes the monthly claimant count, which is based on the administrative system and includes all people claiming unemployment-related benefits (i.e. Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or National Insurance credits) at Employment Service offices on the day of the monthly count, who on that day had signed on as unemployed and available to do any suitable work. Essentially, all people who attend an Employment Service office to sign are counted, irrespective of whether they are actually receiving benefit.The data you have requested can only be derived from the claimant count, as the labour force survey does not give details on duration of unemployment below county level.The figures in the attached table are for April 1997, the latest date for which figures are available.
Numbers of claimants by age and duration, April 1997 18 to 24-year-olds1 25-year-olds and over2 Northavon PCA 106 163 South Gloucestershire UA 272 554 1 Unemployed for six months or more. 2 Unemployed for two years or more.