HC Deb 15 December 2003 vol 415 cc698-9W
Mr. Gibb:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many economically inactive people of working age were seeking employment in each year between 1992 and 2002; how many workless households there were in each year; and if he will make a statement. [143132]

Ruth Kelly:

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Nick Gibb, dated 15 December 2003:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about economically inactive people of working age seeking employment and the number of workless households. (143132)

The attached table gives the information requested for the three month periods ending May each year. These estimates are from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Economically inactive people seeking employment are not classified as unemployed in the United Kingdom statistics unless, following the International Labour Organisation guidelines, they are also available to start work within the two weeks following their LFS interview. The figures shown in the table are for the group of people who stated they were not available to start work within that period.

A workless household is a household that includes at least one person of working age where no-one present is in employment.

The LFS is a sample survey and, as with any sample survey, the estimates are subject to sampling variability.

United Kingdom Thousands
March to May Economically inactive people of working age1 seeking employment(seasonally adjusted) Number of workless households (not seasonally adjusted)
1992 3,043
1993 274 3,283
1994 227 3,391
1995 237 3,446
1996 183 3,444
1997 205 3,271
1998 217 3,237
1999 212 3,158
2000 189 3,070
2001 194 3,063
2002 183 3,133
2003 197 3,043
1 Men aged 16–64 and women aged 16–59.
— Due to questionnaire routing error, figures for 1992 are incorrect and therefore are not shown.
Those for workless households have not yet been subject to this adjustment.


Labour Force Survey (ONS)