Missing data and small-area estimation in the UK Labour Force Survey
N. T. Longford


We apply multivariate shrinkage to estimate the local-area rates of unemployment and economic inactivity in the UK Labour Force Survey. A key feature of the method is exploitation of the similarity of the rates of claiming unemployment benefit and the unemployment rates as defined by the International Labour Organisation. This is done without any distributional assumptions, merely relying on the high correlation of the two rates. The estimation is integrated with a multiple imputation procedure for missing employment status of subjects in the database (item non-response). The hot deck method used in the imputations is adapted so as to reflect the uncertainty in the model for nonresponse. The method is motivated as a development (improvement) on the current operational procedure in which the imputed value is a non-stochastic function of the data. An extension of the procedure to subjects absent from the database (unit non-response) is proposed.
  Supported by the Campion Fellowship.