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Unemployment

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the unemployment rate in (a) Wales and (b) the UK was at the beginning of the economic downturn; and what such rates were at the latest date for which figures are available. (265513)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated April 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the unemployment rate in (a) Wales and (b) the UK was at the beginning of the economic downturn; and what such rates were at the latest date for which figures are available. [265513]

The Pre-Budget Report issued by H.M. Treasury in November 2008 concluded that growth in the UK economy remained above trend during 2007 and then began to head back towards trend in the first half of 2008. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted in the third and fourth quarters of 2008. Unemployment rates for the three-month period November 2008 to January 2009, the latest available, are provided in the enclosed table, along with those for November 2007 to January 2008.

This information is updated monthly as part of the Labour Market Statistics First Release and can be found on the National Statistics website at the following address.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/OnlineProducts/LMS_FR_HS.asp

The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey. As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Please see the information on sampling variability provided as part of the attached table.

Unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over, November to January, 2008 and 2009—United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted

Percentage

Period

Wales

Sampling variability1

UK

Sampling variability1

November 2007 to January 2008

5.0

+/- 0.8

5.2

+/- 0.2

November 2008 to January 2009

7.6

+/- 1.1

6.5

+/- 0.2

1 The sampling variability ranges represent 95 per cent. confidence intervals. It is expected that in 95 per cent. of samples the range would contain the true value.

Note:

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).

Source:

Labour Force Survey