Dear Alex, Darren

Review of experimental Labour Market Statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Following our letter last month announcing our review of the latest published Labour Market statistics using alternative data sources to the LFS, we have today published a report setting out our findings.

Data from the Labour Force Survey underpin many key economic outputs. Our report sets out several requirements for ONS to help ensure that the labour market estimates published between now and the transition to the Transformed LFS (TLFS):

  • are robust enough to bear the weight that is put upon them;
  • are clearly and coherently communicated; and
  • meet user needs.

Our report also sets out lessons to learn for the future.

We would like to thank the teams involved for their positive engagement in working with us to the tight timescales between the Labour Market publications and for committing to address some of our requirements in time for today’s release.

We also welcome that ONS published its high-level plans for the Labour Market statistics over the coming months to help inform users. It is important that communications around the LFS and TLFS are joined up and coherent to avoid any user confusion. My team will continue to engage with ONS on these statistics and their communication.

This review has focused on the experimental labour market estimates published by ONS on 24 October 2023. Should ONS resume publication of LFS-based estimates and datasets you should not do so as accredited official statistics until OSR has undertaken a review to assure users that ONS is able to sustainably meet users’ needs and the statistics are of sufficient quality for intended use. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspects of this letter and accompanying report.

I am copying this letter to Rachel Skentelbery, Deputy Head of Profession for Statistics at ONS.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation


Related Links:

Ed Humpherson to Darren Morgan: Labour market statistics derived from the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS) – 24 October 2023