Trio Start Careers Measuring Numbers of National Importance; to Coincide with World Maths Day, Which Took Place This Week, Three Young Economists with the Office for National Statistics Spoke to Education Wales about the Role Played by Mathematics in Shaping Their Career Choice

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STATISTICS have never been a hotter topic. Take Gross Domestic Product, for instance. ItEUROs a thermometer, taking the nationEUROs economic temperature by measuring what we earn, spend and save.

Once every three months, the City of London waits with bated breath for the GDP EUR[pounds sterling]first estimateEUR.

A fractional movement in the figure has the power to shake the Stock Market.

ItEUROs a world where mathematics and economics are brought sharply into focus when times are tough.

The vital role played by economists in measuring the state of the UK economy isnEUROt lost on Jean Acheson, 22, Robert Smith, 21, and 22-year-old Matthew Swannell.

All three have just joined the Office for National Statistics at its Tredegar Park headquarters in Newport. And they are already involved in measuring numbers of national importance.

Jean, from Dublin, Ireland, said: EUR[pounds sterling]It is important to me that IEUROm working on issues which impact on our lives and the world economy.EUR

In addition, the three young economists will play an increasing part in improving the analysis of key ONS data including labour market statistics, UK trade, retail sales and GDP, all of which reflect on the lives of people throughout the UK, from interest rates to pension funds.

The trio say theyEUROre happy to be part of the ONS which has a mandate to provide impartial, high-quality statistics on all aspects of economic and social life in the UK.

Matthew, originally from Warrington, Cheshire, said: EUR[pounds sterling]What we are doing is putting all that we have learned in the mathematics and economics fields to the practical use that ONS demands, analysing and interpreting data in areas such as the Index of Production and Gross Domestic Product, measuring the countryEUROs overall economic output. …