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Unemployed: Qualifications

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the (a) employment and (b) unemployment rate of (i) lone fathers, (ii) lone mothers and (iii) lone parents with the equivalent of five GCSEs or fewer aged (A) 16 to 24, (B) 25 to 34, (C) 34 to 49 and (D) 50 years to state retirement age in each quarter for the last 10 years. (241705)

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 December 2008:

As National Statistician. I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the (a) employment and (b) unemployment rate of (i) lone fathers (ii) lone mothers and (iii) lone parents with the equivalent of five GCSEs or fewer aged (A) 16 to 24 (B) 25 to 34 (C) 34 to 49 and (D) 50 years to state retirement age in each quarter for the last 10 years. (241705)

The available information is provided in the attached table.

The information requested has been answered using annual estimates derived from the Annual Population Survey (APS) household dataset, which are only available from 2004. Quarterly estimates derived from the Labour Force Survey are of insufficient quality for answering this question due to the detail requested. Estimates for lone fathers derived from the APS arc unreliable at this detailed level and have not been provided.

It is vital to note that as with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty as different samples give different results. Estimates should be treated with caution when comparing two time periods as observed changes may not be statistically significant.

Employment and unemployment rates1 for all lone parents and lone mothers with the equivalent of five GCSEs or fewer, by age group, January to December for each year 2004 to 2007, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted

Percentage

16-24

25-34

35-49

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Lone Parents

2004

16

31

35

17

49

11

2005

18

30

33

15

51

9

2006

20

33

31

20

50

12

20073

**20

***30

*30

**19

*49

**12

Lone Mothers

2004

16

32

35

16

49

10

2005

18

30

33

15

51

8

2006

19

35

30

20

49

11

20073

**20

***28

*30

***19

*49

**12

Percentage

50-59/642

Total

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Lone Parents

2004

45

6

41

13

2005

43

8

41

12

2006

48

6

40

15

20073

**46

****7

*40

**15

Lone Mothers

2004

41

8

40

13

2005

42

7

41

11

2006

46

7

39

15

20073

**43

****8

*39

**15

1 Employment rate is calculated as number of people in employment with 5 GCSEs or fewer as a percentage of the population in the individual age group with 5 GCSEs or fewer. The unemployment rate is calculated as the number of people unemployed with 5 GCSEs or fewer as a percentage of the economically active population in the individual age group with 5 GCSEs or fewer.

2 Men aged 50-64 and women aged 50-59.

3 Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality below.

Guide to Quality:

The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV - for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent. we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.

Key Coefficient of Variation (CV) (%) Statistical robustness

* 0 = CV < 5 Estimates are considered precise.

** 5 = CV < 10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise.

*** 10 = CV < 20 Estimates are considered acceptable.

**** CV = 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes.

Note:

Sample size too small to provide estimates for lone fathers.