§ Mr. Lansley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the relative rates of unemployment in(a) the United Kingdom, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Italy and (e) Spain. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Andrew Lansley, dated 18 June 1997:The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to reply as the Director of the Office for National Statistics to your recent question on the relative rates of unemployment in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Italy and (e) Spain.The measure of unemployment, derived from the quarterly Labour Force Survey, 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 paid 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.The latest available ILO unemployment rates published by the Statistical Office of the European Community (SOEC), for March 1997, were 7.3% for the UK, 12.5% for France, 9.7% for Germany, 12.2% for Italy (for January 1997) and 21.4% for Spain.