Senior economist - economy team (x2)
Office for Budget Responsibility
Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 2nd April 2023
Type of role
Number of jobs available
About the job
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was established by the Chancellor in May 2010 to provide independent assessments of the economy, public finances, and fiscal sustainability. We provide independent forecasts of the economy and public finances to inform the Government's fiscal policy decisions, examine the impact of the Government's policy decisions on the public finances, and assess the prospects for achieving the Government's fiscal targets and welfare cap. We publish reports on long-term fiscal sustainability, fiscal risks, and trends in welfare spending, and run a wider work programme of research and analysis into economic and fiscal issues.
The OBR is comprised of the Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) – Richard Hughes (Chair), Professor David Miles, and Andy King – who are currently supported by around 45 civil servants, including economists, public finance analysts, and business support staff. As we are a small organisation with a flat structure, all roles offer direct exposure to senior staff and the opportunities to manage relationships with stakeholders across government and to project manage work programmes. You would get the chance to work flexibly across a range of high-profile issues, responding to policy developments and other demands. At times, this would involve working with experts to analyse technical issues, such as changes to tax or spending policy. A role here also provides a great opportunity to develop your ability to communicate your insights concisely to non-experts – for instance, by authoring sections of published reports.
We encourage applications from candidates who may be concerned they have less experience in some of the desired criteria, and recognise that gaps can be developed on-the-job and with training, which is available.
The OBR is committed to having a diverse workforce that brings together the best people across government. If you have any concerns, we are happy to discuss any potential obstacles you think you might face. This post is available on a full time, part time, or job share basis. Flexible working hours and remote working can be accommodated. We have a number of staff working flexible hours as well as managing childcare responsibilities and/or other commitments throughout the year, including our forecast events.
We are recruiting two senior economists to work in our economy team. The team is responsible for producing the OBR’s economic forecast and associated analysis, and produces the economy chapter of the twice-yearly Economic and fiscal outlook. The team also contributes extensively to the OBR’s other key publications, including the Forecast evaluation report and Fiscal risks and sustainability report. In addition, the team is engaged across the OBR’s analytical and research agenda – for instance by producing working papers, working on model development, or undertaking an annual stocktake of the supply side of the economy.
The roles will involve a significant amount of a high-profile responsibility, contributing to the production of the economic forecast and engaging extensively with the OBR’s Budget Responsibility Committee. They therefore offer plenty of scope to independently produce high-profile, important analysis, collaborate with others in the team and across Government, and build and manage relationships with external stakeholders.
We are offering two roles – one in the economic analysis and modelling team and one in the economy forecasting team. Both roles can be moulded to suit the skills and experience of the successful candidate:
The role in the economic analysis and modelling team involves:
- Overseeing the economy chapter of the EFO, including writing relevant sections and overseeing contributions from other staff members,
- Taking a lead responsibility for the presentation of risk and uncertainty around our economy forecast in the economic and fiscal outlook. This might involve producing alternative scenarios, developing new modelling infrastructure, or producing analysis to inform key judgements.
- Line and work managing an assistant economist.
The role in the economy forecasting team involves:
- Leading on high profile areas of the economy forecast, by producing the forecast and presenting it to the Budget Responsibility Committee. For instance, past E roles in the team have involved leading on labour markets and potential output; or GDP and its composition.
- Helping shape the overall forecast narrative, by overseeing contributions from more junior staff members, and taking a leading role in office-wide and cross-cutting discussions on the economic outlook.
- Developing and refining necessary modelling infrastructure and forecast methodologies.
Like all roles in the economy team, both roles provide ample opportunity to:
- Undertake bespoke economic analysis to inform key forecast judgements and contribute to the economy team’s other outputs, such as our supply stocktake or sections of the Fiscal risks and sustainability report
- Represent the OBR effectively in meetings with external organisations, including the Office for National Statistics, HM Treasury, OECD, IMF and Bank of England.
Tom Wickstead (email@example.com) or Scott Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org), would be happy to discuss the post further with potential applicants.
- Economics qualification (undergraduate degree or above).
Required Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills:
- A strong and broad understanding of macroeconomics, and the ability to apply this in practical settings (Technical skill)
- Analyse and accurately interpret data from various sources to support decisions. Find the best option by identifying positives, negatives, risks and implications. (Making effective decisions)
- Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding activities (Seeing the Big Picture)
- Proven ability to work flexibly across a number of competing projects/deliverables, prioritise the most important parts and deliver high-quality work to deadline. Maintain own levels of performance in challenging circumstances and encourage others to do the same (Delivering at pace)
The lead criteria is: Technical skill
If we receive a large number of applications, applications will be assessed against this criteria alone first. They will then be assessed against the other criteria if they have met the minimum score on the lead criteria.
Candidate Guidance on Completing your Application Form
Where will we assess success profiles across your application form.
• Behaviours – these will be assessed individually with a 250-word statement per behaviour. The application form will indicate which behaviour is being assessed each time you provide a statement, and we are ideally looking for an example using the below STAR method to demonstrate this behaviour in line with the full criteria stated
• Technical Skills - this will be assessed individually with a 250-word statement per technical skill. You will give the answer in a separate technical skills section, and be given direct guidance on the technical skill we are looking for you to demonstrate
All elements of the success profiles will be linked to a defined criterion that demonstrates the behaviour, experience or technical skills. It is beneficial to ensure your answer focuses on the full criteria, and not just the related success profile, to give you the best chance or providing the evidence the panel wants to assess
In your statements, it is best to focus on one example in each section to allow you to provide enough detail in your answer and use all the words you have been allocated. Examples from a range of roles across your application will demonstrate that you have the skills, experience and behaviours we are looking for. We would also advise you to use examples that best meet the criteria, even if it is a few years old
How to Structure your Answer
Please use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach when writing your application answers.
• Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in and what happened.
• Task – The Hiring Manager will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation that you found yourself in.
• Action – What actions did you take and how did you do it. Make sure to use “I”, not “we” to explain how your actions lead to a result.
• Result – Use facts and statistics to demonstrate the results that your actions produced. Explain whether it was a successful outcome, and if not, what you learned from the experience.
NOTES TO CANDIDATES
• Please refer to the candidate FAQ document which is a link on the job advert – this will provide you with guidance on completing the application form. Please contact email@example.com if you have any issue accessing this document
• At HM Treasury, to maximise diversity and inclusion within our workforce, we operate a fair, open and anonymous recruitment process. This means that the sift panel will only be able to assess you on the written evidence supplied in your application answers. They will not have access to personal information.
• You may be asked to provide some CV details during your application; however these will NOT be assessed during the process, but will be used to support discussions at interview – please ensure you put all information you would like to be scored against in your behaviour, experience and technical skill statements
• You will be assessed on your skills, experience and behaviours through the online application form. When completing your application form, please outline how you meet the requirements as detailed in the ‘Essential Criteria ‘section of this job description. This will give you the best chance to provide the evidence that the panel wants to assess. More guidance can be found here – completing you application
• If we receive a large number of applications, applications will be assessed initially against the lead criterion alone. You will then be assessed against the other criteria if you have met the minimum score on the first criterion.
• Find out more about how the Civil Service assesses candidates and uses Success Profiles (opens in a new window) to test skills, experience and behaviours in applications and interviews.
• Applications are not reviewed until the closing date has passed. You will be notified of the outcome of your application as soon as the recruitment panel has reviewed all the applications.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Making Effective Decisions
- Delivering at Pace
- Seeing the Big Picture
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- A strong and broad understanding of macroeconomics, and the ability to apply this in practical settings
- 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), plus 8 public holidays and the King’s birthday (unless you have a legacy arrangement as an existing Civil Servant)
- Flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours)
- Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with an average employer contribution of 27%
- Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving
- Access to a retail discounts and cashback site
- A Rental Deposit Advance Scheme to help meet the total costs of deposits for privately rented homes
Things you need to know
Selection process details
• Proof of identity, e.g. your passport or driver’s license. Documents must be in date and valid.
• Proof of address, e.g. a utility bill or bank statement issued within the past 3 months.
• Proof of your National Insurance (NI) number, e.g. letter from DWP confirming your NI number, or P60.
• If you do not bring a UK or EU passport, you will need to bring other documentation of your right to work in the UK, e.g. your visa, biometric residence permit or birth certificate.
Further details regarding acceptable documents will be provided in the invitation to interview.
Please let us know if your contact details change at any time during the selection process.
Individuals appointed to the Treasury Group will be subject to National Security Vetting.
To allow for meaningful checks to be carried out applicants will normally need to have lived in the UK for at least 3 out of the past 5 years.
A lack of UK residency in itself is not always a bar to security clearance but the Department will need to consider eligibility on a case by case basis using all information that can be obtained following a successful application.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Working for the Civil Service
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).
Apply and further information
Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
- Name : Tom Wickstead
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruitment team :
- Email : email@example.com