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Working Mothers

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many women with a child under the age of five returned to work in each month in the last two years. (228906)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated November 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on how many women with a child under the age of five have returned to work in each month in the last two years. (228906)

Statistics on women who have returned to work in each month is not available. The Labour Force Survey (LFS), however, does collect data on employment circumstances twelve months ago for those aged 16 and over.

It is estimated that in April - June 2008, 209 thousand women aged 16 and over in employment with a child aged under 5 were not in employment twelve months previously.

The estimate is derived from the LFS using the latest data available (April-June 2008). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. In sampling error terms the above estimate is considered to be reasonably precise as the coefficient of variation (CV) lies between 5 and 10 per cent. The CV indicates the quality of the estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality.

The estimates in the tables are derived from the LFS microdata weighted to estimates published in 2007. They are not entirely consistent with figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release, which are weighted using more up to date population estimates.