Economy

Hiding in plain sight? Why economically inactive people aren’t in ‘hidden unemployment’

You’re either classed as employed or unemployed, right? Well, wrong, actually – there are three different possible ways people can be classified in the labour market. Here David Freeman looks at the third status, called ‘economic inactivity’ and explains how ONS statistics fully capture people’s involvement, or lack of it, with the world of work and why economically inactive people aren’t just in ‘hidden unemployment’.

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Measuring the invisible – improving our understanding of UK trade in services

Exports of services have for many decades made a large and positive contribution to the UK’s international trade balance. But unlike goods, which are relatively easy to count and value, the intangibility of services means their measurement has been less detailed. Now, thanks to a big expansion in our statistical coverage, ONS is shedding unprecedented new light on the subject.

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The hardest part of productivity measurement

Productivity has been a topic of great interest in recent years, especially because of the well-known ‘productivity puzzle’ – the historically weak productivity growth in the UK since the economic downturn in 2008.

But if that is a puzzle, here is another one – how do you measure the productivity of public services, like education or healthcare, when they are provided for free? Since 2005, ONS has developed suitable measures for over half of public services, but there is still much to do. In this blog Josh Martin explains how the ONS measures the productivity of public services.

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