Posts by Jonathan Athow

Understanding the impact on jobs and pay – how the ONS is now measuring the Labour market

Tomorrow the ONS will release its latest set of labour market data showing how, and to what extent, the coronavirus pandemic has hit employment and wages.  In this post Jonathan Athow compares the strengths and weaknesses of the main data sources we use to produce the figures, including the advantages of new ‘real time’ PAYE data – and the limitations of the claimant count figures.

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‘No part of the economy remains untouched’: update on how the ONS is measuring the impact of COVID-19

Soon after the pandemic began, Jonathan Athow wrote here about challenges the ONS would face in measuring its effect on the UK economy. Since then the first official data has revealed the scale of the immediate impact. As more data comes on stream, here he updates on the continuing work to ensure the ONS is able to paint the most accurate picture possible of these dramatic recent changes. 

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Meeting the challenge of measuring the economy through the COVID-19 Pandemic

The developing Covid-19 pandemic has led to new challenges for us, such as how to collect information with many shops closed, businesses ceasing to trade and no interviewers to knock on doors. The situation continues to evolve, and even now, the economy is operating very differently to how it did just a matter of weeks ago. Jonathan Athow explains how we are addressing some of the known – and the new – challenges, including highlighting how we will be collecting and publishing some of our key indicators in the weeks and months ahead.

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Walking in Michael Faraday’s footsteps

How do we reduce the millions of tonnes of food wasted every year? Can we better support development in African countries by investing in UK businesses? How do we tackle digital exclusion? What about increasing volunteering with the police? And what on earth does any of this have to do with Michael Faraday? Jonathan Athow explains.

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It’s indestructible – but can we always believe in (the UK trade figures with the disaggregated effect of the international trade in non-monetary) GOLD?

Gold, in addition to being a hit song by Spandau Ballet, is widely used as a store of value. London is one of the global centres of trading in this commodity, meaning it is an important business for the UK. For many countries the effect of gold on their trade figures is small, but the prominence of the industry in London means it can have a sizeable impact on the UK’s trade figures.

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