(2) on what basis the claimant count in Wellingborough constituency in May 1997 of 1,856 was calculated; and whether this figure was seasonally adjusted.
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 29 January 2007:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions asking on what basis the calculation of claimant count figures quoted in a Statement of 7th December 2006, by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, were calculated. I am replying in her absence. (109242,109244)
The claimant count records the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance and National Insurance credits, at Jobcentre Plus local offices. The counts refer to the total number of claims recorded as live on the second Thursday of each month. The source data are an extract from the Jobcentre Plus Jobseeker's Allowance Payments System which is supplemented by counts of non-computerised claims that are obtained by ONS directly from Jobcentre Plus local offices.
Each month ONS publishes the figures for Wellingborough Parliamentary Constituency in the East Midlands Labour Market First Release, approximately five weeks after the count day. All published claimant count figures for parliamentary constituencies are not seasonally adjusted.
The figure of 1,856 is the estimate for April 1997 published in May 1997. The figure of 1,535 was the latest published estimate on December 7 and related to October 2006.