CMA1950 Assistant Economist

Competition & Markets Authority

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 25th September 2023



Reference number



£34,113 - £38,325
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Type of role

Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of jobs available



Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester

Job summary

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is one of the world's top competition and consumer agencies. With markets changing fast and with our responsibilities expanding, we are currently undergoing rapid business expansion, presenting new opportunities for skilled Assistant Economists.

Economics is at the heart of the CMA’s work. We have a number of exciting opportunities that call for enthusiastic economists keen to work on large-scale and high-profile investigations within a diverse, inclusive and international organisation dedicated to promoting competition for the benefit of consumers.

Job description

As an Assistant Economist, you will have the opportunity to work on diverse cases across the full range of projects the CMA undertakes. Such cases have recently included:

  • Assessing the potential impact on consumers of high profile mergers such as Microsoft/Activision and Facebook/Giphy;
  • Taking action against drug companies accused of over-charging the NHS;
  • Undertaking major market studies into the mobile ecosystems market and the children’s social care market;
  • Investigating concerns over fake and misleading online reviews on certain websites.

The CMA’s responsibilities are rapidly expanding. The CMA is home to the Digital Markets Unit; a new body established by the UK government to promote greater competition and innovation in fast-moving digital markets. CMA economists also ensure the competition implications of policies are considered through the work of the Subsidy Advice Unit and the Office for the Internal Market. The CMA has also recently established the Microeconomics Unit, located at the Darlington Economic Campus, to lead economic research into competition, innovation, productivity and related issues. Economist positions in the Microeconomics Unit will be advertised separately.

You will join a committed community of economists, working in a collaborative, collegiate atmosphere. We are a very diverse team; our economists have a range of backgrounds and nationalities. You will work in agile, dedicated teams undertaking economic analysis to assess competitive effects in markets; you will be provided with structured training opportunities covering both technical, economic skills and more general training; you will also be expected to contribute to the intellectual development of the team of professional economists.

You will be ideally placed to identify and benefit from opportunities for career progression across the organisation and you will discover a working environment where there is real emphasis on working together and developing each other to deliver to high standards.

Our structured training programme, as well as the wider Civil Service training programme, provides a range of opportunities for continuous improvement and learning to develop your economic expertise including training courses, lunchtime seminars and discussion groups on economics topics. We will also support and encourage you to develop your wider skills – including communication, drafting, management skills and project management.

CMA prides itself on being a great place to work and strives to ensure that staff have the opportunity to grow and expand their skills portfolio. As well as being a hugely rewarding, diverse and stimulating place to work, you will have an opportunity to work for the public good and to stretch and develop yourself while doing so.

To find out more about this opportunity and about working for the CMA, please see below and click on the APPLY button.

Further details on the CMA can be found on the CMA’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Application closing date: 11.55pm on Monday 25th September 2023.

Person specification

Key responsibilities will include the following:

  • Engage with senior economists to develop the economic analysis in their projects, including developing economic theories to explain how competition can be affected, gathering appropriate evidence (for example, drafting data or other information requests and survey questionnaires), and identifying how the economic analysis contributes to the CMA’s projects.
  • Deliver high quality and timely economic analysis under the guidance of more senior economists. Responsibilities may include carrying out industry research, compiling datasets and analysing them; critically assessing and interpreting evidence and submissions; identifying relevant academic papers or other sources of publicly available information; and forming judgments as to how the analysis can be used in an investigation.
  • Communicate clearly and accurately, both orally and in writing, in particular by drafting substantial sections of working papers and published reports. This includes presentation of economic analysis to both technical and non-technical audiences (economists and non-economists).
  • Manage own time effectively to ensure work is delivered to the agreed timescale, ensuring managers are kept informed of relevant analysis and potential risks or limitations.
  • Establish effective working relationships with colleagues across different professions in the CMA and with external stakeholders (such as parties to the investigation/inquiry).
  • Proactively develop own skills, knowledge and career in the CMA in conjunction with line manager. The CMA provides a structured training programme covering technical, economic training and more general training.
  • Whilst the role holder will typically not have staff or work management responsibility, they may, on occasion, manage Economic Interns.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Microeconomics
Alongside your salary of £34,113, Competition & Markets Authority contributes £7,439 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

As well as the interesting and varied work you’ll do to contribute to effective competition in the UK, and to ensure consumers get a good deal when buying goods and services, you’ll also benefit from:

  • An exceptionally generous pension scheme with a significant employer contribution and range of options, including a tax-free lump sum at the point of retirement and injury, ill-health and life assurance benefits
  • 25 days leave (increasing to 30 days over five years), plus 8 public holidays and an additional day off for the King’s birthday. In addition, you’ll be able to access a wide range of other types of leave as and when you need it, including generous maternity, paternity, shared parental leave and adoption options, as well as paid special leave for volunteering
  • Season ticket loans, cycle to work scheme, flu vaccinations and eye tests
  • Access to the Civil Service Sports & Leisure, giving discounted gym membership, high street discounts, free access to UK wide attractions and a free Tastecard
  • A range of wellbeing benefits, including an employee assistance programme, flexible working options and family friendly policies, regular networking events and professional learning opportunities at work.

Any move to the CMA from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at .

If you’re already a civil servant being appointed on level transfer, you’ll retain your existing terms, including annual leave. Where you’re being promoted, however, you’ll receive the greater of a 10% pay increase or the new grade minimum. Applicants new to the civil service may be considered for appointment at a salary higher than the starting point indicated above (depending on skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications).

The CMA, like many other organisations, have moved to a hybrid working model with a mix of office and home working. We believe this supports us to deliver our best work while allowing the flexibility to maintain balanced and healthy lives. Our staff work at least 40% of their time from their office location.

We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We want a diverse workforce that reflects the consumers we serve. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, including ethnically diverse people, people with a disability, people with diverse gender identities and from people of different ages.

The CMA is an accredited Disability Confident Employer. Disabled applicants meeting the minimum criteria for the job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at an interview.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement and an online application form. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

The selection process will comprise of the sift (CV & application review) and an interview. Arrangements for the interview will be enclosed in the invitation sent when you schedule your interview slot.

We would like interviewees to attend their interviews in person at a CMA office either in London, Edinburgh or Manchester. If an in-person interview is not possible, a virtual interview via Microsoft Teams can be arranged.

An initial sift based on lead criteria 1 and 2 may be held if a large number of applications are received. If your application then progresses to a full sift, all elements of the essential criteria listed under Person Specification of the role profile will then be considered.

Please note that it is essential that your personal statement is aligned to provide evidence that you have the knowledge and recent practical experience for each of the following selection criteria in your application:

1)  Post-graduate degree in economics OR at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in economics with a strong microeconomics component (or be in your final year of studies and on track to graduate with the required qualification by September 2024) (Lead Criteria; to be answered using the ‘Personal Statement’ within the application).

2)  Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of microeconomics and the ability to communicate technical economic analysis to non-technical audiences (Lead Criteria; to be answered/scored using the ‘Role Specific Question’ within the application).

3)  Experience or demonstrated ability to research, design, develop and deliver economic analysis to tight deadlines with experience of gathering, summarising and presenting information to a high standard (to be answered using the ‘Personal Statement’ within the application).

4)  Sound verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to produce documents that can be tailored to a wide variety of audiences (to be answered using the ‘Personal Statement’ within the application).

5)  Experience or demonstrated ability to establish and manage working relationships and to work in teams to deliver successful outcomes (to be answered using the ‘Personal Statement’ within the application).

The sifting dates are Tuesday 26th September – Tuesday 3rd October 2023.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an interview. 
You will be notified via email to log-in to your Civil Service Account to book your interview slot. You will then be sent an email with full details of your arrangements for interview.

Interviews will be held from Tuesday 10th through to Friday 20th October 2023.

You will attend a Panel interview. At the beginning of the interview you will be invited to give a 5-minute presentation on a case or topic sent to you at the time of the invite to interview.
The panel interview will be approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour in length where you will be asked questions based on Behaviours, Technical skills and Experience outlined in the role profile.

If you have any inquiries relating to your application, you can email

Reasonable adjustments:

In order for a person with disabilities not to be put at a disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need during the recruitment process.
For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you are deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : CMA Recruitment Team
  • Email :
  • Telephone : 0208 738 6808

Recruitment team

  • Email :

Further information

If your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can contact the Civil Service Commission

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