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Unemployment

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, columns 995-6W, on unemployment, how many economically inactive people of working age who were long-term sick or disabled wanted employment in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) each of the last eight quarters. (321641)

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many economically inactive people of working age who were long-term sick or disabled wanted employment in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) each of the last eight quarters. (321641)

Estimates of economic inactivity are available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, people are classed as economically inactive if they are neither in employment nor unemployed. The estimates provided comprise those who have not been looking for work in the last four weeks, but who say they would like a regular paid job, plus those who have been looking for work but who were unable to start within two weeks.

These estimates are published in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin Historical Supplement which is available on the National Statistics website via the following link:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/LMS_FR_HS/WebTable13.xls

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Indications of the sampling variability of LFS aggregate estimates are provided in the Statistical Bulletin.

Economically inactive, long-term sick or disabled people of working age1 who want a job2, United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted

Total (thousand)

October to December quarter:

2000

744

2001

753

2002

752

2003

670

2004

634

2005

615

2006

611

2007

618

Latest eight quarters:

2008

January to March

664

April to June

658

July to September

653

October to December

628

2009

January to March

599

April to June

618

July to September

659

October to December

676

1 Men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.

2 Those who had not been looking for work in the four weeks prior to interview but who said they would like a regular paid job, plus those who had been looking for work but had been unable to start within two weeks.

Source:

ONS Labour Force Survey