HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 cc512-3W
Mr. Field

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what information his Department collates on the rates of pay of new jobs as a proportion of average earnings; [96237]

(2) what proportion of new jobs pay (a) below half average earnings, (b) from half average earnings up to average earnings, (c) from average earnings to twice average earnings and from (d) twice average earnings to five times average earnings and above for a convenient period for which he has data. [96236]

Miss Melanie Johnson

[holding answer 29 October 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. Frank Field, dated 9 November 1999: As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary questions about the earnings of people in new jobs. The ONS is not able to identify people in newly created jobs. However, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) does collect data on the earnings of employees and on the length of time people have worked for their current employer. LFS estimates of the distribution of the hourly earnings of those who recently joined their employer relative to the average for all employees are shown in the attached table. Data for those earning more than five times average hourly earnings have been combined with that for two to five times average earnings because the sample size in the former group is too small for the estimate to be shown separately. The distribution for all employees is also shown. We cannot know how many of these jobs in the former group are newly created and it would be difficult to collect such information reliably from a household survey such as the LFS. Nor does the New Earnings Survey ask employers whether a job is newly created.

Dawn Primarolo

Our assumption is that the number of workers covered by the normal employment status tests will not be significantly different from the number which would have been covered by the "control" test, though the population is likely to be different. Any variation would be within the margin of error of the original estimate. The revised Regulatory Impact Assessment published in October, a copy of which is placed in the Library, sets out the likely impact of the changes we announced on 23 September.