Saturday, July 19, 2008

Covering Statistics: Like With Like, Fair Summary


One of the more persistent LoL anon stalkers of modern times has drawn attention to this BBC page which has some wallah from LSE saying around twice as many 16 to 17 year olds are Not in Employment Education of Training aka NEET as the government figures show.

This is I think a case of comparing Apples and Oranges (Guardian explains definitions). The two sets of figures are based on quite different things. One (LSE) based on majority activity in a short period, the other (DWP) based on engagement with any EET over recent weeks.

If I get a chance I'll take a look at the raw figures. But I will say that when yon anon stalker claims this gets Iain Dale off the hook for dodgy statistics they are of course dreaming.

BRAINTEASER: Is 29% "almost one third"? Or just over one quarter? And is 18% "one in five" or just over one in six? In both cases the BBC has used the former of the two pairs in coverage of stats in the last 24 hours. Whereas in both examples the second summary is a closer approximation to the underlying figures. In the second case they've rounded UP to 18%. The figure is much closer to one in six.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The point is that when it suits you to quote interview data such as the British Crime Statistics then you do so. When it suits you to quote the strict bean-counting figures (as with this LSE study) you choose that instead.

It most certainly does not get Dale "off the hook", it merely puts you down in the swamp with him.

Chris Paul said...

Rubbish anon. On two levels. If that was your point you expressed it extraordinarily badly. And second at the time you wrote I had not said the BCS was anything other than interview data - though it is empirical nonetheless - and I had not commented on the NEET data at all.

Which by the fucking way is ALSO based on interviews. Bollock brain!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I retyped my post and forgot to alter a subsequent part.

My whole point was meant to be that the LSE study was, just like the BCS stats, based on interview data. You choose to quote one but not the other. You had indeed not commented on the NEET data. In fact it was neetly (sic) avioided.

So, yet again the worse off get shafted by the Labour Party. Now there's a shock.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right about those innumerate bastards at the BBC, Chris.

The Labour Party say that the neumber of people in the relevant age group that aren't in employment, education or training is 7%. The LSE have calculated it to be 18%.

18 is nearer to three times 7 than it is to twice 7. The BBC quoted the latter figure.

Thanks for the maths lesson, Chris. Very useful as it turns out.

quizzylizzy said...

heck am not a mathematician but

18%, 1 in 5 ?

in terms of 'nudges' ....most young people are not NEET ...

therefore society is not broken.

and for those who are neet, the government is doing all the right things, catching kids early in childrens centres (i know someone who works in this sector) and bringing in new rules for 16 year olds who must be in education, employment or training.

to suggest that society is broken and that the government is doing nothing about it and that we must vote in a bunch of tories who feign some kind of concern as a cover for getting themselves elected flies in the face of history and current reality outside of the right-wing media