Helen Gray


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Principal Research Economist


+44 (0)1273 763 410

Helen Gray has been involved in a diverse range of projects in the employment field over the past 18 years and is experienced in evaluating the impact of labour market programmes. She was also a member of the primary research team for the 2004 and 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Surveys, drawing on her background in industrial relations. 

Dr Gray has expertise in working with large administrative datasets, including the Individualised Learner Record, the National Pupil Database, employment and benefits records and the Police National Computer. Major evaluations have included Jobcentre Plus, Pathways to Work, the Employment and Retention and Advancement programme, Traineeships, Work-Based Learning for Adults and an analysis of the relative effectiveness of different types of community order requirements for the Ministry of Justice. Helen led the analysis of national administrative data for the causal impact assessment of the Troubled Families evaluation for the Department for Communities and Local Government - the first project to link employment and benefits, educational attainment, child welfare and offending data. Other recent projects include estimating the financial costs of pregnancy-related discrimination for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a study on neurodiversity at work for Acas.

She has provided guidance to the Department for Business, Innovtion and Skills on the application of evaluation methods to interventions targeted at businesses, drawing on her experience of using a wide range of evaluation techniques, including experimental and quasi-experimental methods. She has also advised the Department for Work and Pensions' researchers on a number of in-house evaluations, including the Future Jobs Fund and Mandatory Work Activity. As of February 2021 Dr Gray has been appointed to the evaluation panel of What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, providing advice to central and local government on design and implementation of evaluations of local economic policies.


2007 London School of Economics and Political Science PhD, Industrial Relations
1998 University of Warwick MA, Industrial Relations
1997 University of Wales, Cardiff BSc (Econ), Economics and Politics


2013-2016 Principal Research Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London
2008-2013 Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London
2006-2008 Senior Research Fellow, Policy Studies Institute, London
2003-2006 Research Fellow, Policy Studies Institute
2000-2003 Research Assistant, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science
1998-1999 Research Officer, Department of Economics, University of Surrey

Research publications

Articles and chapters

Conference appearances

  • The impact of the UK National Living Wage on employment and hours, including on young people., Gray H, Low Pay Commission Seventh Annual Research Symposium, London, September 2019
  • The impact of the UK National Living Wage on employment and hours, including on young people, Capuano S, Gray H, Low Pay Commission Sixth Annual Research Symposium, Low Pay Commission, London, September 2018
  • Do older workers affect workplace performance?, Gray H, University of Sheffield Work, Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group Annual Conference, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, July 2018
  • Trial site contamination guidance, Gray H, Internal Department for Work and Pensions workshop, Department for Work and Pensions, Sheffield, May 2018