A Census is needed to provide key information which is not available from any other source. For example, Government will use the information for planning purposes; to assess whether there are enough schools, hospital and maternity facilities etc. Business use the Census results when they are considering whether or not to establish a presence in the Island and, if so, where to site new factories, offices and shops. Local authorities also need to know how many pople live in their area in order to optimise the services they provide.
A note on the unemployment figures
There are two widely used measures of unemployment:
- The claimant count, and
- The Labour Force Survey (LFS) count.
The claimant count is essentially the number of people signed on the unemployment register and claiming JSA.
The Census figure is aligned with the latter. It provides a count of everyone who is able, willing and actively seeking work, irrespective of whether they are claiming JSA. Clearly this is a wider count and so produces a much higher number.
Relating to March 2011, the Census unemployment figure is some 65% higher than our claimant count at the same time. Interestingly this is virtually identical to the UK ratio (the UK produces an LFS count monthly based on a sample of the population).
At the time of the 2006 Census we had an LFS count of 1,010 and a claimant count of 563 so the difference between the two figures was in relative terms higher then (at 79%) than it is now.