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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many people in employment aged (a) 16, (b) 17 and (c) 18 are employed by (i) small and medium-sized employers, (ii) large private employers and (iii) the public sector. (251125)

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

Letter from Dennis Roberts, dated 28 January 2009:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people in employment aged (a) 16, (b) 17 and (c) 18 are employed by (i) small and medium-sized employers, (ii) large private employers and (iii) the public sector. I am replying in her absence. (251125)

The available information is provided in the attached table. The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

The estimates by size of employer are based on respondents' understanding of the number of employees in their workplace. This may not equal the employer's total employment as it may have more than one site.

The distinction between public and private sector is based on respondents' views about the organisation for which they work. The public sector estimates provided do not correspond to official Public Sector Employment estimates. Those are derived directly from employers and are based on National Accounts definitions, but do not include this detailed age breakdown.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

The figures have been derived from the LFS microdata which are weighted using the official population estimates published in autumn 2007. Consequently the estimates from Q3 2006 onwards are not entirely consistent with the figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release, which are weighted using more up-to-date population estimates.

People in employment by public and private sector and by age and number of employees at workplace1—three month period ending September 2008—United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted


Private sector2, 4, 5


1 to 499 employees6

500 or more employees6

Public sector2, 3, 5













1 Employees at the respondent's workplace This will exclude those working for the same employer on different sites

2 It should be noted that public and private sector estimates,

- are based on survey respondents' views about the organisation for which they work;

- do not correspond to the National Accounts definition used for Public Sector Employment estimates,

3 Includes nationalised industry or state corporation, central Government, civil service, local government or council (incl. police, fire services and local authority controlled schools or colleges), university or other grant funded educational establishment, health authority or NHS trust and armed forces.

4 Includes self-employed and unpaid family workers.

5 Excludes those whose type of employer was not known.

6 Excludes those whose number of employees at the workplace was not known

7 Coefficients of Variation have been calculated as an indication of the quality of the estimates, as described as follows:

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 [le] CV <5 Estimates are considered precise.

** 5 [le] CV <10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise.

*** 10 [le] CV < 20 Estimates are considered acceptable.

**** CV ≥ 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes and have not been provided

It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc.)


Labour Force Survey