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Inactivity Rates

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the working age inactivity rate was by (a) region and (b) gender, in the last quarter of (i) 1992, (ii) 1997, (iii) 2001 and (iv) 2002; and how many people were inactive but looking for a job in each case. [107920]

[holding answer 9 April 2003]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 6 May 2003:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question about economically inactive people of working age. (107920)

The attached tables give the information requested for the three month periods ending February 1998, February 2002 and February 2003. These estimates are from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for which the winter quarter covers the months from

December to February. Regional estimates for the three month period ending February 1993 are not currently available on a consistent basis. These will be available from 12 November 2003.

Table 1: Working age

1

economic inactivity rates

2

by region and sex

Percentage, not seasonally adjusted

December to February

Government Office Regions

1992–03

3

1997–98

2001–02

2002–03

All

United Kingdom21.522.121.921.7
North East26.526.327.4
North West25.224.123.2
Yorkshire & Humberside23.423.222.9
East Midlands20.420.420.9
West Midlands21.621.721.3
East of England18.617.618.6
London24.024.525.2
South East18.117.317.6
South West18.318.618.3
Wales27.127.525.0
Scotland22.722.521.1
Northern Ireland26.729.226.4

Men

United Kingdom14.216.016.516.4
North East20.222.322.9
North West19.719.618.1
Yorkshire & Humberside18.017.417.2
East Midlands14.415.515.8
West Midlands14.415.716.0
East of England12.211.713.2
London16.816.917.5
South East11.511.812.6
South West13.114.714.4
Wales22.922.221.3
Scotland18.018.517.2
Northern Ireland18.122.118.0

Women

United Kingdom29.428.527.727.3
North East33.230.432.2
North West31.128.828.5
Yorkshire & Humberside29.129.528.9
East Midlands27.025.826.4
West Midlands29.328.227.0
East of England25.623.924.3
London31.032.132.9
South East25.123.223.1
South West23.922.822.5
Wales31.533.028.8
Scotland27.626.625.2
Northern Ireland35.836.635.2

1 Men aged 16–64 and women aged 16–59.

2 Economically inactive as a percentage of the working age population.

3 Regional data not available.

Source:

ONS Labour Force Survey

Table 2: Economically inactive people of working age

1

who are seeking work

2

by region and sex

Thousand, not seasonally adjusted

December to February

Government Office Regions

1997–98

2001–02

2002–03

All

United Kingdom186181175
North East

3

3

3

North West232119
Yorkshire & Humberside181514
East Midlands1510

3

West Midlands181113
East of England151617
London272832
South East232721
South West131414
Wales

3

1210
Scotland131516
Northern Irelandn/an/an/a

Table 2: Economically inactive people of working age

1

who are seeking work

2

by region and sex

Thousand, not seasonally adjusted

December to February

Government Office Regions

1997–98

2001–02

2002–03

Men

United Kingdom818681
North East

3

3

3

North West1213

3

Yorkshire & Humberside

3

3

3

East Midlands

3

3

3

West Midlands

3

3

3

East of England

3

3

3

London121119
South East

3

10

3

South West

3

3

3

Wales

3

3

3

Scotland

3

1010
Northern Irelandn/an/an/a

Women

United Kingdom1059494
North East

3

3

3

North West11

3

14
Yorkshire & Humberside10

3

3

East Midlands10

3

3

West Midlands10

3

3

East of England11

3

10
London151713
South East141613
South West

3

3

3

Wales

3

3

3

Scotland

3

3

3

Northern Irelandn/an/an/a

1 Men aged 16–64 and women aged 16–59

2 Economically inactive people seeking work in the last 4 weeks but not available to start work in the next 2 weeks

3 Sample size too small for reliable estimate n/a—Data not available

Source:

ONS Labour Force Survey