CIPD Voice: Issue 30
It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future
All forecasts are hostage to fortune, especially ones made in 'unprecedented' times. The labour market has defied the estimates made in the darkest days of the pandemic and now appears to be in rude health. But with the end of furlough looming, there is a question mark as we advance.
Most of our official labour market statistics have a lag of about six weeks. When we make predictions, it's a bit like driving whilst looking in the rear-view mirror. The pandemic has hastened the introduction of exciting 'experimental' datasets using such things as real-time PAYE data and data scraped from jobs websites can show us a more up to date picture. And then, there are leading indicators -vacancies, for example. There are lead times to recruitment: the vacancy has to attract a good pool of candidates, and then there are the interviews, notice periods and eventually a start. All of this means we can be confident that vacancies today will reflect jobs that will come to be in the following weeks and months.
Jon Boys: Labour Market Economist
Jon joined the CIPD in January 2019 as an Economist. He is an experienced labour market analyst with expertise in pay and conditions, education and skills, and productivity.
Jon primarily uses quantitative techniques to uncover insights in labour market data, both publicly available and generated through in house surveying. Jon regularly contributes commentary and analysis of economic issues on the world of work to online, print and TV media. Recent work includes the creation of an international ranking of work quality, analysis of firm level gender pay gap reporting data, and an ongoing programme of work looking at the changing age profile of the UK workforce.
Prior to this he worked for Be the Business – a government backed start up aimed at increasing firm level productivity in the UK, the Careers & Enterprise Company – another government backed start up aimed at transforming careers provision in school. He has also held prominent research roles at an Employers Association and Trade Union researching pay, conditions, and workforce composition.