§ Mr. Thurnham
asked the Paymaster General if he will ensure that statistics about self-employment are made available at more regular intervals than at present; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
Firm estimates of the numbers in self-employment are based on the censuses of population, the latest of which was for 1981, updated by annual results from the labour force survey. Quarterly totals for Great Britain are derived by interpolation or extrapolation. The next firm estimates, for 1985, will be available in the spring when the results of the 1985 labour force survey become available. My officials are examining ways in which the range and quality of the estimates of self-employment might be improved.