The headline of the second quarter of 2018 is the lowest unemployment rate since 1975. Economic Inactivity continues to be at record lows, inflation is falling and the budget deficit is shrinking. However, GDP growth continues to be sluggish which means our pay is stagnating and we have record levels of debt to pay off. History tells us that the odds of another recession soon will rise from now on so there is still a need to change the state of our economy.
After 3 months of hot, dry and sunny weather, the UK returned to normal in August with a completely unremarkable month.
The UK is on course for its best summer since 2006 following a hot, dry and bright July.
I hope you enjoyed the least rainy June on record! It was also the third warmest and fifth sunniest June on record.
If you are responsible for uploading your gender pay gap figures to the government’s portal, you may want to be sure that your figures are correct. I have analysed the 2017 data and I have identified that between 10-20% of organisations have submitted incorrect data. In most cases, this is because the existing government guidance for your calculations is poorly written and is open to misinterpretation.
Until the government rewrites its guidance to make it easier to understand, why not download my free spreadsheet which will do all the calculations for you?
Meteoologists define spring in the UK to be the period from March to May so spring is now over and we are officially in summer. The 2018 winter was very sunny but this hides the fact that our winter climate has changed quite notably over the last 25 years.
I hope you enjoyed the sunniest May on record! It was also the second warmest May on record though the Met Office chose to sow confusion by claiming it was the warmest on record.
Welcome to my first tracker post of the UK economy! I intend this to be similar in format to my UK Weather Tracker except that it will be published quarterly rather than monthly. In this post I will explain the statistics I have chosen to track.
I am a big believer in placing recent statistics in their historical context. Nothing annoys me more than someone overexplaining a small dip in GDP which in historical terms is absolutely meaningless. Unfortunately we live in a world cursed by the year on year comparison without any understanding of basic time series concepts such as autocorrelation and reversion to the mean. So one hope I have with my Economy Tracker is to improve this state of affairs.
April 2018 was the deadline for submitting gender pay gap results and we now have the first detailed picture of how pay differs between men and women in the UK. A nifty government website can be used to look up pay gap details for any company employing more than 250 employees and you can also download the results for further analysis. So what will happen next? Will the data be used properly to inform debate about how men and women are paid or will it be misused for personal and political gain?
I believe this data can be of benefit to the debate around gender equality but my fear is that to begin with, it will be misused, misinterpreted and reinforce the saying “lies, damned lies and statistics”. So if you want to misuse gender pay gap data, who better to ask that a professional statistician like me who will show you how you can do this by commenting on 7 plausible statements.
The government requires all organisations employing 250 or more employees to submit gender pay gap data. The first set of submissions were completed in April 2018 but these figures refer to pay made in April 2017 i.e. a year ago. Organisations can submit their 2018 data now if they wish and not wait for the deadline of April 2019. All data is available to the public and can be found on the government’s gender pay gap website. I have downloaded this data and created a spreadsheet tool to present the data in a more user-friendly and visual format.