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Unemployment

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will (a) make representations to the Office for National Statistics on (a) compiling and (b) publishing monthly data on long-term unemployment in each parliamentary constituency; and (b) allocate funding for the compilation of those statistics.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Estimates of the number of people who are unemployed for sub-regional geographies in the UK are compiled by the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is done using the Annual Population Survey (APS), a large household survey of people in the UK.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – along with the Department for Education; the Ministry of Defence; Public Health England; the Welsh Government; and the Scottish Government – contributes funding for the ONS to conduct the APS. The department’s officials work with the ONS to offer advice on the design and delivery of the survey.

It is not possible to produce robust estimates of the number of people who are long-term unemployed (12 months or more) for parliamentary constituency areas, due to the size of the survey sample at this level of geography.

It is also not considered technically feasible to alter the APS to allow for the production of robust monthly estimates of the number long-term unemployed people at parliamentary constituency area.

The ONS are working on alternative approaches to producing labour market estimates, as part of the ONS’s Census and Data Collection Transformation Programme. The outcome of this work may enable the requested data to be produced, however this programme is still in its research and development stage.

The DWP publishes, via its Stat Xplore website, official statistics on the duration people have claimed Universal Credit by parliamentary constituency area.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

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