HC Deb 26 June 1997 vol 296 cc593-4W
Mr. Blizzard

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to change the method of calculation for the official unemployment figures. [4106]

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 a reply to be given.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Bob Blizzard, dated 26 June 1997: The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to reply as the Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to your recent question on what plans there are to change the method of calculating the official unemployment figures. I am responsible for deciding the form, coverage and timing of release of statistics issued by ONS, taking into account the views of customers. ONS is presently consulting customers on the future presentation of labour market statistics; the consultation exercise was launched through an article in the Labour Market Trends published on 8 May. Comments on the proposals should be sent to ONS by 14 June. The proposals set out for consultation reflect the House of Commons Employment Select Committee recommendation that more prominence should be given to the measure of unemployment which is based on the internationally agreed ILO definition.