Monthly Archives: July 2014

In news that will delight statisticians everywhere the distinction between the mean and the median finally has the political profile it deserves.

Yesterday Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK statistical authority, wrote a letter clarifying an ongoing debate between Labour and Conservative politicians on waiting times in accident and emergency rooms. Read more

So the UK economy grew 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, leaving output on this preliminary estimate at just about the previous peak set in Q1 2008, over six years ago. For an economy that produces almost £400bn a quarter in gross domestic product, exceeding the previous peak by £752m is really small beer, as our first chart below the break shows.

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Keith Fray

The UK economy has finally recovered. Today’s estimate by the Office for National Statistics of gross domestic product for the second quarter takes output (adjusted for inflation) to a new high, above the level of the first quarter of 2008*.

Hurrah. But, although welcome, this is nothing to celebrate. The government will not be ordering church bells to be rung. That the sum total of everything produced in the economy is only now returning to the levels of six years ago is astonishing. To give some context, the recession and recovery have lasted about nine months longer than the second world war. Read more

Trust in institutions to use data is much lower than trust in them in general, according to a new survey for the Royal Statistical Society.

The poll of just over two thousand British adults carried out by Ipsos MORI found that the media, internet services such as social media and search engines and telecommunication companies were the least trusted to use personal data appropriately. Read more

Since 2008, the Tier 1 (General) visa has allowed 33,756 people to come to the UK as highly skilled migrants. They brought 47,535 dependents with them.

On December 22nd, 2010, the visa route was closed to new overseas applicants.

For those who came to the UK on this visa and have been here for five years, there is one last test to pass in order to be allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely – without further visa restrictions.

Would you qualify to stay in the UK as a highly skilled migrant?

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Water scarcity is starting to hit the balance sheets of multinationals, who have spent more than $84bn managing their water usage in the last three years.

The Financial Times has gathered data on 78 corporate water projects around the globe, including desalination plants, hydroelectric power stations and river course modification. Read more

On Sunday Germany and Argentina will face off in the World Cup final for the third time. The match result may well hinge on the skills of either Lionel Messi or Thomas Müller. But what would happen if economic indicators decided the scoreline?

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Yesterday the ONS released data on real wages going back until 1975 and as you might expect they show that median wages have grown pretty dramatically over the last 40 years or so.

Coincidentally 1975 was also the year that saw the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act. For younger women the legal and social changes since 1975 have had some success. Throughout their teens, twenties and thirties men and women now earn comparable amounts. In 1975 men earned substantially more at every single age. Read more