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Time use surveys: Daily Mail, September 2011

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Daily Mail, September 2011

The Daily Mail claimed that ONS was planning to run a time use survey as part of its work on measuring well-being. Joe Grice wrote to set the record straight.


Issue date: 30 September 2011
Type: Letter to the Press


There have now been several references in the Daily Mail, including in Janet Street-Porter's column, mistakenly suggesting that the Office for National Statistics is spending taxpayers' money on running a time use survey. We are not running a time use survey, nor are we committed to spending any money on running a time use survey.

ONS has successfully carried out time use surveys (in 2000 and 2005) and several other countries continue to do so, including a majority of EU states, Canada, Japan, China and the United States. The report from Professor J Gershuny we recently published examines the potential for using time use surveys to help measure national well-being, an approach that is proving worthwhile in the US. Whether or not we explore this further depends on whether or not there are demands for the data that further UK time use surveys would provide, and whether there are cost-effective ways of meeting any demand for these data.

Yours faithfully

Joe Grice
Chief Economist and Director, Economic, Labour and Social Analysis,
Office for National Statistics,
Government Buildings,
Cardiff Road,
Newport NG10 8XG

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