Posts by Jonathan Athow

Decoding the gender pay gap: how a Bletchley Park codebreaker helped explain a strange paradox

The gender pay gap is +8.6 per cent for full-time employees but -4.4 per cent for part-timers. So one might expect the average for all workers to be somewhere between those figures, but actually it is higher than either, at +17.9 per cent. What’s the reason for that? And how is this puzzle linked with the work of one of the Bletchley Park codebreakers? Jonathan Athow explains.

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Everybody’s heard about the GERD – measuring measures R&D spending at ONS

Investing in research and development (R&D) is one of the key ways that businesses can improve their competitiveness and increase their productivity, an important driver of growth. Here, Office for National Statistics’s (ONS) Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow looks at the importance of R&D and how the ONS goes about capturing it in its figures, which it publishes in its Gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) release.

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Working 9 to 5? – How we count unemployment and what the numbers show

For months now, UK employment has been sitting at or near record highs. Naturally there has been speculation about what is driving the increase, and whether it is mainly because of people on ‘zero hours contracts.’ Jonathan Athow delves into the figures to show how we measure this important figure and what being ‘unemployed’ actually means for official statistics.

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GDP: a worthwhile, but incomplete, measure

Recently GDP has come under some close scrutiny for failing to capture unpaid work and the impact of economic growth on the environment. Jonathan Athow looks at GDP’s strengths as well as some other measures and statistics that can be used to understand wider measures of well-being.

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