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Labour Market Participation

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the rates of participation in the labour market were of people aged between (a) 18 and 35, (b) 35 and 50, (c) 50 and 65 and (d) 65 and 75, in (i) 1992, (ii) 1982 and (iii) 1973; [100452](2) what the participation rate is of people in the labour market aged between

(a) 18 and 35, (b) 35 and 50, (c) 50 and 65 and (d) 65 and 75. [100451]

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

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Edward O'Hara, dated 3 March 2003:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions about economic activity rates. I am replying in his absence. (100451, 100452)
The table overleaf gives estimates of economic activity rates by age for the three month periods ending May 1984, May 1992 and May 2002. These estimates are from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and are not seasonally adjusted. This information is not available for 1973 and 1982.

Economic activity rates


by age United Kingdom (percentage), not seasonally adjusted

March to May







All aged 16 and over62.162.962.6
16 to 59/64477.678.778.2
18 to 3479.780.180.1
35 to 4983.685.985.0
50 to 59/64469.869.170.4

1Total economically active as a percentage of all persons in the relevant age group.

2 Data not adjusted for the Census 2001 results.

3 Data adjusted for the 2001 Census results.

4Economic activity rates are usually given for the working age population. This is defined as men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59. The age groups in this table reflect that definition.


ONS Labour Force Survey.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the projected participation rates of people in the labour market are, given current trends, for the year 2012. [100453]

The Government's projection framework goes up to 2006 and it does not forecast directly participation rates. However, the Treasury's trend output growth projections imply an estimated trend increase in the working age activity rate i.e. labour market participation rate of 0.1 percentage point a year up to Q4 2006. Further details are available in "Trend Growth: Recent Developments and Prospects", published by HM Treasury in April 2002.