Economy

Transforming how we report employment – why four is better than one

Making ONS statistics more accessible is a key part of the ‘Better Statistics, Better Decisions’ strategy.  With the ups and downs of the job market closely followed by experts and non-specialists alike, our reporting of employment statistics is changing to make the information easier to find and the main stories stand out.  David Freeman reveals how. 

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Shopping Around for Retail Data? How ONS keeps tabs on a fast-changing sector

Evolving shopping habits are keeping UK retailers on their toes, forcing many to adapt to survive.  The rise of online sales and the disappearance of some big names from UK high streets have also challenged ONS to maintain the accuracy and relevance of the Retail Sales Index.  As Rhian Murphy explains,  the breadth of its coverage means the RSI remains a leading indicator – not just of retailing but of the economy as a whole.

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Productivity gap narrows

New OECD figures published today suggest the ‘productivity gap’ between the UK and other economies including France, Germany and the USA is smaller than previously thought. The latest estimates follow a re-appraisal of how each country measures the number of hours worked. The development of these improved numbers is in part down to work at ONS.

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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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