Posted: Oct 21, 2018 1:16 pm
by Thommo
Scot Dutchy wrote:ONS themselves admit the figures are estimates. They are nowhere near the truth. ONS has no idea who lives, enters or leaves the country:

This is somewhere between straightforwardly untrue and wildly misleading.

Like all immigration, employment, GDP, and many other government statistics in all countries the methods used to form the statistics are estimates. However, they are very good and methodologically sound and consistent estimates made with a high degree of confidence, in most cases.

The estimates will be close to the truth (and in the cases of many statistics kept by government, this can be checked against census results every few years), the ONS does have a very good idea of the number of people living in, entering and leaving the country (and they do not purport to record the names of each person entering and leaving, that's the job of customs, and is not relevant to government statistics. Limitations on tracking individuals are more to do with the concerns individuals have for privacy than statistical methodology).

Where an individual needs to be tracked, by name, that data is available to the security services, as in the recent case of the Salisbury murderers Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, but this is not a matter for the ONS.

Scot Dutchy wrote:Why does not ONS use the accepted definition of unemployed as used in the EU.

As far as I'm aware, it does. Your sources certainly don't indicate otherwise, in fact they don't mention the EU at all!

The EU's own statistical body has the following definition of unemployment statistics (although individual member states keep their own figures): wrote:An unemployed person is defined by Eurostat, according to the guidelines of the International Labour Organization, as:

someone aged 15 to 74 (in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway: 16 to 74 years);
without work during the reference week;
available to start work within the next two weeks (or has already found a job to start within the next three months);
actively having sought employment at some time during the last four weeks.

The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.

The ONS page about the definition they use is here: ... employment
The level and rate of UK unemployment measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS), using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

The EU's own figures can be found here: ... statistics
Which shows UK unemployment at the lower rate of 4%, compared to an EU average of 6.8% and a Euro Area average of 8.1%.

A fact check has also looked into these figures: ... mployment/

Perhaps you could tell us in what important respect Britain's unemployment figures are kept differently from EU figures and how you think it changes the overall picture?

Jim Edwards wrote a followup article after people he "respects" "dismayed" him by calling the content of his argument "silly" and "ridiculous". ... ers-2017-7

There is a widely understood set of reasons that economists use the unemployment rate the way they do. It makes little sense to criticise that figure without first understanding that (widely available) argument. As mentioned upthread, if that still doesn't satisfy an individual the ONS (along with the equivalent bodies in other countries) does also keep employment figures anyway, which don't have the same set of exceptions, and are just as freely available to the general public.

The reason you don't see them cited as often is because they are deemed to be less useful.