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Harmonisation Bulletin 01 - 2004/01: Clarification of outputs for National Statistics Socio-Economic Status (NS-SEC)

Dear colleague,

A number of recent queries have suggested that there has been some confusion over the use and presentation of NS-SEC. To clarify, NS-SEC is presented with eight analytic classes. The class 'Never worked and long-term unemployed' is shown as class 8. The confusion appears to be over where to place the three categories 'Students', 'Occupations not stated or inadequately described' and 'Not classifiable'. These should be shown separately, grouped as 'Not classified'. They should not be added to any of the classes; they should not be shown as part of class 8. The same applies for the 3-class and 5-class versions of NS-SEC - these three categories should be added to form 'Not classified', which is distinct from any of the other classes.

Note that this does not constitute a change of question, classification or policy, but merely a clarification of the existing standard. The Harmonised Concepts & Questions document will be updated to clarify this in its next release.

For further information, please email harmonisation@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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