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.Read more on A COVID-19 conundrum: why are nearly half a million ‘employees’ not being paid?
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.Read more on Understanding the impact on jobs and pay – how the ONS is now measuring the Labour market
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.Read more on ‘No part of the economy remains untouched’: update on how the ONS is measuring the impact of COVID-19
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.Read more on Meeting the challenge of measuring the economy through the COVID-19 Pandemic
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.Read more on Walking in Michael Faraday’s footsteps