§ Mr. Ben Chapman
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on levels of unemployment in Wirral, South since 1997. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Ben Chapman, dated 20 October 2003:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question regarding the levels of unemployment in Wirral South since 1997. (132867)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics of unemployment from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) following the internationally standard International Labour Organisation definition. However the survey sample size is too small to provide estimates for the Wirral South Parliamentary Constituency. ONS also compiles statistics of those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for local areas including Parliamentary Constituencies.
In September 1997, the number of JSA claimants in the Wirral South Parliamentary Constituency stood at 1,776. The corresponding figure for September 2003, the latest date for which information is available, is 851.