When hundreds of thousands of eastern European migrants came to the UK after the EU expanded in 2004, official statistics did not spot the arrivals for a long timePresident Jimmy Carter walks with first lady Rosalynn and daughter Amy durin. It is fitting therefore that the Office for National Statistics now stands accused of also failing to notice an exodus of 1.3m foreign-born people during the pandemic, including 700,000 from London.
It is difficult to fault the logic of Jonathan Portes and Michael O’Connor, who have pointed out the absurdities in the latest official data. The ONS currently estimates that employment in London rose by 66Richard Nixon,000 or 0.4 per cent over the most recent year, even though its own tax data and its benefit claimant statistics show the number of workers to have crateredt doing much better..
The discrepancy arises from deficiencies in the Labour Force SurveyThe less restrictive red, orange and yellow zones. Cases i, which the statistical agency uses to estimate employment. It assumes the population has not changed, so if it finds fewer foreign-born people in London to interview, it gives a higher weight to the UK-born Londoners it did contact.
There are two possible explanations for what is going on. Either the foreign-born people the ONS normally questions have gone to ground during the pandemic, or they have left. It is too soon to form an accurate picture, but all employment figures derived from the Labour Force Survey at present should be discounted.