§ Mrs. Liddell
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Mark Oaten, dated 12 June 1997:The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to reply as the Director of the Office for National Statistics to your recent question on how many people under the age of 25 years are currently on the jobseekers allowance scheme (a) in Winchester and (b) in the United Kingdom.ONS figures cover all unemployment-related benefits i.e. they include those receiving National Insurance Credits only, although these only constitute a small proportion of the total (approximately 10 per cent). JSA specific counts can be provided by Department of Social Security but not to the required geographical breakdown—only for Great Britain.The ONS produces two measures of unemployment. The first, derived from the quarterly Labour Force Survey, is defined on a consistent and internationally recognised basis set out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and counts as unemployed, people who are: a) without a paid job; b) available to start work within the next two weeks and c) have either looked for work in the past four weeks or are waiting to start a job already obtained.ONS also publishes the monthly claimant count, which is based on the UK administrative system and includes all people claiming unemployment-related benefits at Employment Service offices on the day of the monthly count, who on that day had signed on as 571W unemployed and available to do any suitable work. All people who attend an Employment Service office to sign are counted, irrespective of whether they are actually receiving benefit.Both measures are described and compared in the ONS booklet How exactly is Unemployment Measured?, a copy of which is enclosed. This booklet is also available in the House of Commons Library.572WONS information is only available on the total number of people claiming all unemployment-related benefits (Jobseeker's Allowance or National Insurance Credits). In April 1997 on an unadjusted basis, people age under 25 years and claiming unemployment-related benefits numbered 245 in the Winchester parliamentary constituency and 440,028 in the United Kingdom. If specific JSA breakdowns are required these are available from the Department of Social Security.