'Fiddling' of jobless statistics attacked: Labour points to census discrepancies

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Indy Politics
A COMPARISON of census returns and official unemployment figures showed that nearly 400,000 more people were out of work than the Department of Employment calculated at the time of the 1991 census, it was revealed yesterday.

Frank Dobson, the Labour employment spokesman who carried out the comparative analysis, said that the figures exposed the scale of Government 'fiddling'.

He said: 'In April 1991, when the official jobless total published by the Department of Employment was 2,198,455 in the United Kingdom, the census showed that 393,124 more people were out of work, giving a total of 2,591,579 - 18 per cent higher than the Government figures.'

That contrasted with the April 1981 census, when the official Department of Employment figures were higher than the census returns on those out of work.

Mr Dobson said the biggest 'fiddle' on the 1991 figures was in London, where the census showed unemployment 28 per cent higher than Department of Employment figures. In the South-east, the census figure was 27 per cent higher.

'The census provides figures the Tories can't fix or fiddle,' Mr Dobson said. The massive discrepancies between the census figures and the official unemployment total expose what the Tories have been up to.

'Over the years, they have reduced the lists by no fewer than 27 statistical fiddles. On top of that, all sorts of schemes and pressures have been deployed on reducing the jobless total.'

He also criticised the way in which civil servants had been used to deceive the public, which, he said, was grossly improper. The census figures had blown the Government's cover.

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