Posts by Jonathan Athow

The virus, the vaccine and GDP: Measuring healthcare through the pandemic

Hospital corridor

Measuring the work of public services has probably never been as challenging as in recent months, with many services being reduced due to the pandemic while new services, such as track and trace, have been brought on stream to combat it. Here Jonathan Athow writes about how we have adjusted our previous estimates and how we expanding our statistics to include these new types of services. 

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Measuring the labour market during the pandemic

Data image

A challenge faced by ONS during the pandemic is the inability to conduct face-to-face household interviews, having to rely on telephone surveys instead. So we’ve been exploring how this might have affected responses to our Labour Force Survey on which the key UK employment data are based.  Jonathan Athow explains what we have found and how we plan to tackle it.

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A COVID-19 conundrum: why are nearly half a million ‘employees’ not being paid?

The ONS uses various data sources to measure changes in the UK labour market. One of those, the ‘Real Time Information’ from the HMRC PAYE system, shows a sharp drop in the number of employees, but the Labour Force Survey does not. Here Jonathan Athow looks at a possible explanation for this seeming contradiction.

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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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