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

14 November 2023
Last updated:
28 November 2023


On 23 October 2023 ONS announced its Labour Market Statistics release the following day would include a new experimental series using additional data sources to produce an alternative series of estimates of UK employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity for the latest two 3-monthly periods. These would replace the usual estimates derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and be published as experimental statistics.

Following the publication of the statistics we wrote to ONS announcing a short review against the Code of Practice for Statistics. As outlined in our letter, this review has focused on four key areas:

  • The suitability of the revised methodology and quality assurance approach to produce headline labour market estimates
  • The clarity of communication with users on what the new series can and cannot be used for
  • The extent to which these statistics meet user needs
  • Any further actions planned to improve the quality of the LFS during the transition period to the Transformed Labour Force Survey (TLFS)

This report outlines our findings and requirements for the ONS to address to ensure that the labour market estimates published between now and the transition to the Transformed LFS are robust enough to bear the weight that is put upon them and meet user needs.

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