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The ONS has released a blog post confirming that tomorrow's labour market data will include a re-weighting to account from changes in the sample due to a switch from face to face surveys to telephone surveys.

  • The ONS confirmed that it was looking into this issue in last month's press release noting that a higher proportion of owner occupiers were responding than renters after the change to telephone polling. In the press release the ONS stated that "we cannot fully quantify this, but initial analysis produced by introducing weighting by tenure type indicates that our headline figures might be slightly impacted by the changes but within the bounds of statistical variation."
  • The ONS has done further analysis into this and notes that "Back in February [with face to face surveys prior to Covid] around 67 per cent of households in their first interview in the LFS sample were owner occupiers and 32 per cent were renters. But in July [with telephone surveys] this was around 77 per cent and 21 per cent respectively."
  • To correct for this larger sample sizes have been taken but in addition from tomorrow's release the ONS will "reweight the estimates so that the shares of owner occupiers and renters are the same as before the pandemic hit in March."
  • There is no publicly available data available on the breakdown of labour market data between owner occupiers and renters, but we would assume that more renters would potentially be in less stable jobs and so we could see the unemployment rate revised higher.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3820 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3820 |

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