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Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will rank local authorities by the employment rate in their area in (a) 1997 and (b) 2006. (162676)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 November 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about employment. (162676)

The Office for National Statistics compiles employment statistics for local areas from the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation definitions.

Table 1, attached, shows the working age employment rates for all local authorities, for the period March 1997 to February 1998, from the annual LFS, and Table 2 shows the same information for the period April 2006 to March 2007 (the latest period for which data are available) from the APS. In both tables the local authorities are listed in order of their employment rates. A copy of the tables has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

These statistics are published each quarter for all parliamentary constituencies and local authorities in the local area labour market statistical indicators publication (accessible from The latest data are also published in the Labour Market Statistics regional First Releases (accessible from

As these estimates are for a subset of the population in small geographical areas, they are based on small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty. Estimates for the City of London in particular are based on very few observations. The employment rate is the number of working age people, in employment, who are resident in the area (not the number who work in the area), expressed as the percentage of all working age people resident in the area. Further, estimates of change over time for all areas should be treated with caution.