§ Sir J. Langford-Holt
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) whether, since the facts on the numbers of people in the public service given to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury on 4th July were 18 months out of date at the time of being given to the House, and since the usefulness of such information is limited, he will ensure that such figures are not more than six months out of date;
(2) why the statistics given to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury on 4th July were 18 months old at the time of presentation to the House; and what steps he is taking to see that such statistics given to the House are reasonably up to date.
§ Mr. Golding,
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 10th July 1978; Vol. 953, c. 378], gave the following information:
Figures for public and private sector employment are produced annually about one year after the date to which they relate. Provisional estimates for June 1977 will be available by the end of this month and I shall send them to the hon. Member when they are ready. More up-to-date figures on total employment and on employment in two of the main elements of the public sector, the Civil Service and local authorities are available quarterly and published within about four months of the dates to which they relate.
A fuller analysis requires more information and in view of the need to keep 541W down costs and the burden of form-filling I regard an interval of about one year for producing estimates for the whole public sector as not unreasonable. I therefore do not propose to take specific steps to ensure that the figures are not much more than six months out of date.