HC Deb 03 November 2003 vol 412 c506W
Mr. Michael Foster

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what account was taken of the Elliott Review of the Area Cost Adjustment when deciding to use the New Earnings Survey to calculate wage rates. [135650]

Phil Hope

The Government use the new earnings survey (NES) for the area cost adjustment (ACA). The NES is the best data for the purpose because it is drawn from a 1 per cent. sample of everyone in employment, a far larger sample survey than the main possible alternative the labour force survey (LFS).

The Elliott review recommended that the LFS should be used as the data source for the ACA. This was on the grounds that the LFS includes data on the educational attainment of survey participants. However detailed occupation data is included in the NES. A report by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) concluded that the use of the NES for calculating the ACA does not result in any significant bias as a consequence of the inability to standardise for education, because of the detailed information on the occupation and industry of survey participants contained in the NES.