§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the rates of unemployment of(a)(i) Catholics and (ii) Protestants in Northern Ireland and (b) (1) Afro-Caribbeans and (2) Asians in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
§ 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. Robert McCartney, dated 27 January 1998:The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to reply, as Director of the Office for National Statistics, to your recent question asking about the unemployment rates of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland and Afro-Caribbeans and Asians in England and Wales.The ONS measure of unemployment, derived from the 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 paid job; b) available to start work within the next two weeks and c) have 148W either looked for work in the last four weeks or are waiting to start a job already obtained. The ILO unemployment rate is defined as the number ILO employed as a proportion of all those either in employment or ILO unemployed.The requested figures based on the average of the four latest quarterly LFS estimates are shown below:
ILO unemployment rates Average of four quarters autumn 1996 to summer 1997 Northern Ireland Catholics 12.0 Protestants 6.6 England and Wales Black1 20.4 Asian2 14.5 1 Black-African, Black-Caribbean and Black-other (excluding Black-mixed). 2 Indian and Pakistani/Bangladeshi.