CMA1780 Assistant Economist, Darlington – Department for International Development – Darlington

Department for International Development

Job summary

The Competition and Markets Authority is undergoing an exciting expansion and has increased its presence with the establishment of new offices and a Microeconomics Unit in Darlington . The unit is based at the Darlington Economic Campus, alongside a range of government departments (such as HMT, DIT, BEIS, ONS, DLUHC and DoE). We are seeking recent or prospective graduates to join our growing team as Assistant Economists.

The new Microeconomics Unit leads the CMA’s economic research programme. Set up in response to the government-commissioned Penrose review, the Unit will provide analysis and expertise on the issues of UK competition, consumer rights, supply-side reforms, innovation and productivity. The ambition is for the Unit to become a micro-economic sibling for the Bank of England’s well-established public macro-economic role.

Job description

As an Assistant Economist you will be responsible for carrying out economic analysis and research, under the supervision of more senior economists. This includes identifying key issues, designing and conducting analysis, drawing conclusions and presenting them to colleagues and decision makers.

Projects that you may work on in the Microeconomics Unit include:

The regular State of UK Competition report

Research into live issues in competition policy, and structural reforms aimed at improving UK productivity

The annual Positive Impact report and looking for ways to improve how we measure the CMA’s impact

The CMA’s ongoing programme of ex post studies into past competition policy interventions

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 and research on key issues in microeconomics. 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 within the Microeconomics Unit and 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.

The 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.

Person specification

Key responsibilities will include the following:

Working with Microeconomics Unit colleagues to carry out economic analysis as part of research projects. This includes helping to scope the key questions which will inform the direction of the project; deciding on and gathering appropriate evidence; and identifying how the economic analysis contributes to the overall state of knowledge on issues of competition, innovation and productivity.

Deliver high quality and timely economic analysis under the guidance of more senior economists, across several long-term and short-term research projects. Responsibilities may include: defining research questions and analytical approaches, carrying out literature reviews to synthesise academic research on an issue, compiling and analysing data sets, quality assurance to check the work of others and engaging with academics and other experts.

Communicate clearly and accurately, both orally and in writing, in particular by drafting substantial sections of technical papers and published reports, and presenting 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 progress, findings and potential risks or limitations.

Establish effective working relationships within the Microeconomics Unit, with colleagues across the rest of the CMA and with external stakeholders including other government departments and academics.

Proactively develop own skills, knowledge and career in the CMA in conjunction with their line manager. The CMA provides a structured training programme covering technical, economic training as well as more general skills.

Whilst the role holder will typically not have staff or work management responsibility, they may, on occasion, line manage Economic Interns.

Make a contribution to the intellectual development of the Microeconomics Unit and the wider team of professional economists, for example presenting at staff seminars/workshops and providing feedback from conferences or courses attended.

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

Please have a read of our blog to learn more about being an Economist at the CMA:

Or our LinkedIn page:

Closing date: 11.55pm on Monday 6th February 2023.


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:

Economics and Microeconomics


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 50% of their time from their office location.

The CMA are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. It is a priority to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and as an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from under-represented groups, including ethnically diverse people, people with a disability, and people with diverse gender identities.

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.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using , 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

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