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SESP 2005/06


A downloadable word version of this plan is available here.


This Statistics Plan for 2005/06 covers the economy, income, labour market and enterprise and lifelong learning themes. It provides details of regular outputs and publications together with the proposed developments for the year ahead. Some developments depend on resource availability and may be part of a wider programme of work (in many cases involving the Office for National Statistics).

Outputs to be produced in 2005/06

The main outputs to be produced in 2005/06 are summarised in the table below.

April 2005

Gross Domestic Product 2004, Q4.

Index of Manufactured Exports 2004, Q4.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

May 2005

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Higher Education Students.

June 2005

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Interim EMA Analysis (probable date).

Scottish Corporate Sector Statistics 2004.

July 2005

Gross Domestic Product 2005, Q1.

Index of Manufactured Exports 2005, Q1.

Public Sector Workforce Series, Q1.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Annual Scottish Labour Force 2004.

August 2005

Benefits and Tax Credits, Feb 2005.

Briefing on Persistent Poverty, 2003.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Business Enterprise Research & Development in Scotland 2003.

September 2005

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Age Participation Index (probable date).

Lifelong Learning Statistics Publication.

October 2005

Gross Domestic Product 2005, Q2.

Index of Manufactured Exports 2005, Q2.

Public Sector Workforce Series, Q2.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Scottish Annual Business Statistics 2003.

November 2005

Scottish Economic Statistics publication.

Publication of 2002 Input Output tables.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Briefing on UK Business Enterprise Research and Development 2004.

December 2005

Global Connection Survey 2004.

Government Expenditure and Revenue for Scotland, 2003-04.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Higher Education Graduates & Graduate Destinations (probable date).

January 2006

Gross Domestic Product 2005, Q3.

Index of Manufactured Exports 2005, Q3.

Public Sector Workforce Series, Q3.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Higher Education-Business and Community Interaction Survey 2003-04.

February 2006

Global Connections Survey - LEC Analysis, 2004.

Benefits and Tax Credits, Aug 2005.

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Students Awards in Scotland (probable date).

March 2006

Labour Market Monthly Web Updates.

Households Below Average Income, 2004/05.

Budget Briefing, 2006.

Developments for 2005/06

Macro-economic Statistics

GDP Quality Improvements

Over the course of the year, Scottish Executive statisticians will review the quality of data and methodology underpinning the Scottish GDP estimates. This will involve a number of developments including:

· a complete panel refresh of companies in the Index of Production sample.

· introducing new weights, consistent with Regional Accounts and the input-output system, for 2002, in time for the 2005 Q2 publication in October 2005.

· a thorough, ongoing investigation of service sector data and deflators to improve estimation accuracy in this area.

· a review of the seasonal adjustment methodology to allow for discontinuities in series and changing seasonal patterns over time.

· and a review of the way public sector output is estimated, building on work emerging from the Atkinson Review recommendations.

Improved trade flow estimates

We shall improve the quality of our estimates of exports from Scotland by further developing the data and methodology underpinning the Global Connections Survey and harmonising the GCS data with other trade figures, where appropriate, from a variety of other sources. This will involve:

· improving the questionnaire design and explanatory notes.

· improving the targeting of survey.

· working more closely with Scottish Development International (SDI) to obtain information from large companies.

· improving estimates of food exports following in-depth investigation of sector.

· obtaining ONS data on international Trade in Services to supplement survey information and improve service sector estimates.

· further development of weighting/grossing methodology.

· producing new estimates of exports to 'Rest of UK'.

More integrated Macro-economic Information System

Over the next year, Scottish Executive statisticians will re-write a large part of the input-output system to improve its flexibility and functionality. This work will enable us to link data from a wider variety of sources and adding more constraining variables and parameters to the balancing process (this would enable links to be made between, for example, between Input-Output estimates and the Global Connections Survey (GCS), Government Expenditure and Revenue for Scotland (GERS), HM Customs and Excise analysis, etcetera. This will also allow us to develop technical aspects of the model, such as taxes and margins, household accounts and government expenditure.

Detailed developments include:

· Introducing constraints (such as Regional Accounts GVA etc) at an earlier stage in the balancing process.

· Introducing more constraints at an industry level rather than Scotland totals.

· Reviewing the improved outputs from ONS Regional Accounts (e.g. Compensation of Employees, Gross Domestic Household Incomes, Gross Domestic Capital Formation) and assessing their potential for additional constraining items.

· Balancing to be carried out at a higher level (Combined Use matrix) with disaggregation taking place at a later stage in the balancing process.

· Improving analysis of the components of the Combined Use matrix to produce better estimates of taxes and margins, and to improve estimates of intermediate demand at basic and market prices.

· Introduction of 2002 estimates of exports from the Global Connections Survey as Input-Output constraining variables.

· Introducing a new balancing methodology using the SAS package.

· Producing an integrated SAS/Excel IT system to enhance functionality and enable more analysis on a consistent basis through time.

Improved measurement of Government Output in Scotland

Over the next year, Scottish Executive statisticians will be co-ordinating activity across the Scottish Executive in the implementation of the recommendations in the Atkinson Review Final Report. We shall be working closely with ONS to ensure that Scottish data are incorporated in the UK estimates (to appear in the 2006 Blue Book). We shall also be considering how this work may improve our own understanding of Government Output and Productivity in Scotland with a view to improving our own estimates in the GDP and input-output systems.

We are currently developing a Scottish Strategy for this work programme which will be published in the next few weeks {update when appropriate with link}. This will include:

· Re-working the public sector GDP input measures from employee numbers to deflate input costs (to include both current and capital spend) and to adopt the internationally recognised COFOG classifications.

· Introducing quality adjusted output measures into the GDP system initially for health, care, justice and education, and eventually for the whole of the public sector (subject to review and consultation).

· Working closely with ONS to ensure that suitable Scottish data are incorporated into the UK National Accounts.

Working with ONS to implement the recommendations of the Allsopp Review.

The Scottish Executive will be working to assist ONS in the longer-term process of implementing the recommendations of the Allsopp Review. Work in this area will involve improvements to the Inter-Department Business Register, enhanced Business Inquiries, improved methodologies underpinning the Regional Accounts, more use of shared administrative data across government departments, and more modelling work to augment gaps in data and knowledge. The Scottish Executive will have a greater role in providing ONS with information based on local intelligence to help improve the quality of regional analysis of economic data in Scotland and across the UK.

Business & Enterprise Statistics
Business Statistics

The Scottish Executive funded a boost to the ONS ARI survey, which collects information to update the IDBR. The boost should improve the quality of Scottish IDBR data, and thus the quality of the Annual Business Inquiry and other business surveys based on the IDBR. A decision on whether or not to fund a 2005 boost will follow an evaluation of the effect of the 2004 boost. Scottish Executive statisticians are liaising with ONS on the Business Surveys Integration Project (BSIP) and implementation of the Allsopp Review recommendations. These projects aim to improve the scope, quality and coherence of regional statistics for economic policy making.

We will provide analysis for the Business Growth Inquiry and for development of the Growing Business Strategy and the Life Sciences Strategy. In conjunction with Scottish Enterprise we will produce baseline data against which to measure the impact of Intermediate Technology Institutes. In addition, we will continue to develop our longitudinal analysis of business dynamics data; and will carry out analyses of enterprises with headquarters in Scotland and enterprises in the top 100 & top 500 in Scotland. We will also continue to develop analysis of foreign ownership and productivity of businesses.

Research & Development and Innovation

We will continue to make maximum use of ONS surveys to monitor the Executive's target to increase business expenditure on R&D. We continue to liaise with ONS on collection of Scottish data through the Business Enterprise R&D (BERD) survey and the forthcoming Community Innovation Survey (CIS). Recent research provided analysis of the CIS3 and information on Business Attitudes to R&D, this will help inform the focus of future work. The branch review (see below) will consider the feasibility of linking R&D and innovation data to existing business data to assess links between, say, innovation and productivity.

Review of Analysis Opportunities

The Business & Enterprise Statistics branch is carrying out a review of analysis opportunities. The review will consider analysis work conducted by academics, DTI and other Government departments, along with the demands of policy customers and macroeconomic statistics branches. In particular, we will examine the feasibility of linking our existing business datasets to other datasets including BERD, CIS and management information held by the Executive and Scottish Enterprise. Such data-linking would strengthen the evidence base on plant level productivity; the drivers of productivity such as skills, innovation and R&D covered by the ELL portfolio; and on evaluating the impact of business support policies. The review will report in July 2005.

Lifelong Learning

Over the next year, Scottish Executive statisticians will be improving the scope and quality of statistics relating to lifelong learning by making the statistics more accessible and more policy related, and by commissioning relevant research in this area: This includes:


· Development of a new publication on Education Maintenance Allowances.

· Development of an integrated approach to dissemination, resting on four pillars: the publications; a redesigned internet site; response to specific queries; and a proposed new Lifelong Learning Statistics publication that will provide an overview of key findings and signposting to statistics.

· Making other organisations' statistics more accessible by developing a knowledge of analyses issued by HESA, the Funding Councils, UCAS, the Student Loans Company.

Input to policy development

· Participation in the reviews of Higher and Further Education.

· Specific analyses on overseas students and on qualifications that are important for public sector jobs.

· Developing and modelling performance indicators.

· Allocation of hardship funds.

· Contributing to analysis on the effect of variable fees at English universities.

· Developing analysis of the new HESA staff record.

· Development of Scottish equivalents of OECD indicators of lifelong learning.

Other developments

· Improving integration of data within the tertiary education sector and with schools and post qualification learning, in the context of Managing Information Across Partners.

· Commissioning a survey of Student Income and Expenditure.

· Participation in an OECD study on the social outcomes of learning.

Labour Market Statistics

The Scottish Executive will be pursuing various initiatives to improve the quality and consistency of Labour Market statistics in Scotland. This will include more analysis of the boosted Labour Force Survey and publication of an integrated set of quarterly public sector workforce figures. Further details are listed below:

Labour Force Survey

· Publish the results of the boost to the LFS in Scotland for the 2nd year and establish a time series for key indicator and measure at Scotland and local authority areas.

· Continue to work with the Office for National Statistics to improve the quality of the LFS in Scotland and ensure that the boost to the LFS in future years continues to be of an acceptable quality.

· New/additional outputs include: local data, time series, adult learning, more frequent data (calendar quarters).

Public Sector Workforce

· March 2005 data will be published in July 2005 for the first time and will be consistent with the UK series published by ONS at the same time.

· The main element of the series will comprise of:

- Joint Staffing Watch Survey of Local Authorities - ASD/Scottish Executive statisticians have taken over responsibility of this survey from COSLA and Environment Statistics.

- Modelled Heath Workforce ( in conjunction with Department of Health and ONS).

- Devolved Civil Service data from HR Statistics.

- NDPB and Public Corporations from ONS.

· Reserved Civil Service is only produced annually for Scotland therefore will not be able to be produced quarterly.

Data Laboratory

· In partnership with ONS, establish an access point in Scotland. Secure data labs currently exist in London and Newport. This is part of a pilot to establish facilities outwith ONS buildings.

· Data Lab will allow access to ONS datasets for the Executive and external users, such as academics and other research institutions. Will allow Executive to commission more analyses using this data, especially longitudinal analyses.

· Data sets that will be available on data lab include:

- All business data sets.

- Annual Survey of hours and Earning.

- Labour Force Survey.

CTOG Inactivity Target

· Provide support and advice on finalising inactivity targets in the seven local authority areas.

· Monitor the target once they have been established.

· Provide analyses on the issues concerning the Transition to Work programmes and Employability Framework.

· Continue to seek access to Department of Work and Pension longitudinal database to establish better information on flows of people on and off benefits and the characteristics of those dependant of benefits.

16-19 Year Old Not in Education, Employment or Training Target

Investigate alternative measures to improve understanding of this group and to better monitor progress.

· Liaise with DfES on how they measure their targets.

· Progress data linking of Education Department's pupil database and Careers Scotland's database.

· Investigate feasibility of developing tracking database with Careers Scotland for school leavers.

· Liaise with Department of Work and Pension to seek better information on those aged 16- 19 receiving benefits.

Regional Policy

· Supporting Regional Selective Assistance Scotland and European Structural Funds Divisions in reviewing eligible areas with the aim to optimise coverage in Scotland.

· Continue to develop geographical model that allow different options to be considered and identify the indicators that would mean maximum coverage for Scotland in terms of European Assisted areas.