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Part-time Employment: Working Mothers

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate she has made of the proportion of women with children who worked fewer than 16 hours a week in each year since 1997. (317140)

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated February 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on the proportion of women with children who worked fewer than 16 hours a week in each year since 1997. (317140)

The information requested is given in table 1 attached. The figures are from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) household datasets for the three months ending June for each year requested.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty as different samples give different results. Table 2 shows the percentage and confidence interval for the three months ending June 2009. This is to give an indication as to the accuracy of the most recent estimate, and how much it could vary if taken from a different sample. The estimate is such that there is 95 per cent certainty that from all samples possible it will lie within the lower and upper bounds.

Table 1: Percentage of working age1 mothers with dependent children2 who worked fewer than 16 hours3 a week, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted April to June 1997-2009

Percentage4

1997

14.8

1998

14.5

1999

14.2

2000

13.4

2001

12.3

2002

11.9

2003

11.9

2004

11.5

2005

10.4

2006

10.5

2007

10.4

2008

9.2

2009

9.3

1 Women aged 16 to 59. 2 Children under 16 and those aged 16-18 who have never married and in full-time education. 3 Total usual hours worked in main job (excluding overtime), excludes those not in employment. 4 Denominator is all working age women with dependent children. Source: LFS household datasets.

Table 2: Percentage of working age1 mothers with dependent children2 who worked fewer than 16 hours3 a week with 95 per cent. confidence interval4 United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted April to June 2009

Percentage5

Lower CI

Upper CI

2009

9.3

8.8

9.7

1 Women aged 16 to 59. 2 Children under 16 and those aged 16-18 who have never married and in full-time education. 3 Total usual hours worked in main job (excluding overtime), excludes those not in employment. 4 95 per cent. confidence interval which means that from all samples possible there would be 95 per cent. certainty that the true estimate would lie within the lower and upper bounds. 5 Denominator is all working age women with dependent children. Source: LFS household datasets.