UK statistics office delays some labour data by a week

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday it was pushing back the publication of some of its next round of labour market data by a week to Oct. 24.

Data from the ONS’ Labour Force Survey (LFS), which is used to calculate Britain’s unemployment rate, would no longer be published on Oct. 17, it said.

But figures on workers’ earnings, vacancies and real-time information on employment from Britain’s tax office would be published as originally planned on Tuesday, the ONS said.

The Bank of England is keeping a close eye on Britain’s labour market – especially the earnings figures – as it tries to gauge whether it needs to resume raising interest rates, having opted to keep them on hold in September after 14 hikes in a row.

The ONS said the delay was due to falling response rates to the LFS survey, which is in the process of being updated to cover more respondents with questions asked in different ways from early 2024.

The delay would “give us additional time to produce the best possible estimates of the labour market using the best available data sources,” the agency said in a statement.

(Writing by William Schomberg, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)