§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 5 June 2000:The Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been asked to reply to your recent question (123578) about the unemployment rate in pre-1997 travel-to-work areas in Scotland. I am replying in the Director's absence.ONS produces two measures of unemployment. The first is derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). It is defined on a consistent and internationally recognised basis set out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This 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 last four weeks or are waiting to start a job already obtained.The ONS also publishes the monthly number of people who are claiming unemployment-related benefits also known as the Claimant Count.The definitions of travel-to-work areas that were used before 1997 are those first used in 1984. LFS data for 1984 travel-to-work areas are not available but figures for the claimant count can be obtained from the Nomis database at the House of Commons Library.