What do Government Economists do?

I am the Director for Analysis and Chief Economist at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Analysts are actively involved in providing economic support, advice, and analysis, which provides evidence based decisions around the Government’s major programs such as transforming rehabilitation, the prisons program and reducing reoffending. These programs and projects regularly make the news headlines and generate a lot of public and media interest as we try to deliver services more efficiently and with improved outcomes.

The work of economists and other analysts is becoming ever more important across government and there is ever greater demand for our work. At the MoJ, there has been a significant increase in how many economists we have with over 40 at HQ this year. When taking on Assistant Economists, we want candidates with both good economic skills and good ‘soft skills’, particularly around communication (both written and oral) and planning. But we’re not looking for the finished article, we’re looking for people with potential and offer development opportunities across all areas through on-the-job learning, online courses, in-house courses, and some external courses to help our Assistant Economists develop.

Our Assistant Economists can also learn from working in a variety of departments right from the start of their careers. As we’re looking for potential, there’s no single ‘type’ that makes a good government economist. Our economists come from a very wide range of universities, from all school types, and from quite a range of ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.

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