Since becoming an Assistant Economist at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been exposed to all sorts of interesting areas. Working in the Labour Market Policy team means I am constantly busy learning and applying new skills; I have learnt how to code using a variety of specialist software, honed my statistical analysis and networked with all sorts of stakeholders. It also gives a massive insight into how economic theory works in practice as the ONS produces GDP, inflation and employment figures just to name a few.
There is so much scope to explore topical projects as an Assistant Economist within the ONS, which attracts attention from other government departments, the media and the general public. For example, last year my publication on Real Household Disposable Income was referred to by George Osborne in the 2015 budget. Furthermore, I receive regular requests from high profile institutions such as No 10, ‘The Economist’ and the Resolution Foundation. This makes me feel like I am able to help influence policy and shape public opinion, whilst being stretched and increasing my competence.
Aside from branch work itself, the ONS has plenty of opportunities that have enriched my time in the workplace. Diversity is prioritised and I have since become chairperson of ‘Spectrum’ – the ONS LGBT+ network group. This has allowed me to make new friends and fully be myself at work, which is testament to the ONS placing highly in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers – a submission that I was privileged to be responsible for.
Furthermore, the office itself is a very friendly and welcoming environment; relaxed yet efficient. There are regular social events outside of work run by a group of Fast Streamers (e.g. bowling, crazy golf and quiz nights), which has allowed me to network with colleagues in a less professional setting. In summary, my time at the ONS so far has been extremely positive both socially and in regards to my career, and I am looking forward to grow as an Economist within the organisation.