To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate, on the basis of the current labour force survey panel data, how many people of working age have been out of paid employment for at least four consecutive quarters. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from L. Cook to Mr. Steve Webb, dated 24 April 2003:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about people who have not been in paid employment for at least four successive quarters. (109060)
Labour Force Survey records for the four quarters up to September to November 2002, show an estimated 7.2 million people of working age who were out of paid employment in each of the four successive quarters. This estimate includes people who had never had a paid job and those who were not seeking work, as well as those who were seeking work.