§ Mr. Jim Murphy
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households which had no one in employment on 1 May 1997 now have a member of the family in paid employment. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
[holding answer 6 December 1999]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Jim Murphy, dated 13 December 1999:As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question asking how many formerly workless households now have at least one person in employment.The ONS collects information about workless households via the Labour Force Survey. ONS analyses are based on working age workless households, which are defined as households where there is at least one person of working age and no household members are employed. Although estimates of the total numbers of such households are available on a half-yearly basis the ONS cannot accurately identify how many households have changed status from workless to working or vice versa; only the net change is available.The ONS estimates that between spring (March to May) 1997 and spring 1999 there was a net fall of 106,000 in the number of workless working age households (from 3,281,000 to 3,175,000).