HC Deb 28 July 2000 vol 354 cc1033-4W
Mr. Michael J. Foster

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees resident in(a) Worcester and (b) mid Worcestershire have benefited from the introduction of the national minimum wage. [133764]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Michael Foster, dated 28 July 2000As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question on the number of employees resident in Worcester and Mid Worcester who have benefited from the introduction of the national minimum wage (133764) Definitive estimates on the number of people that have been affected by the national minimum wage are not yet available. Currently available estimates for assessing the effect draw on data from both the New Earnings Survey and the Labour Force Survey, and recognise the particular value that each survey adds to the quality and analytical details that can be provided. However, the latest adjusted estimates are mainly based on data for the Spring (March-May) 1999 Labour Force Survey. Because the reference period spans the implementation date for the National Minimum Wage Act on 1 April 1999, these adjusted estimates are unlikely to accurately measure the effect of this Legislation since there are employees who could have been earning below the minimum wage rates in March 1999, before the law took effect. The currently available estimates for March-May 1999 were published in an Office for National Statistics (ONS) First Release on 14 October 1999 and show that the number of people earning below the minimum wage rates set in April 1999 had fallen significantly between 1998 and 1999. A copy of this first release is available in the House of Commons Library.