The number of employees on UK payrolls rose by 356,000 in June as the labour market continued to recover from the worst of the pandemic.
The National Bureau of Statistics stated that this increase brought the total wages to 28.9 million. However, due to government support to retain many jobs, this number is still 206,000 less than before the crisis.
The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8%, and the layoff rate fell to pre-pandemic levels. There were 862,000 vacancies from April to June, 77,500 more than the pre-crisis level in the first three months of 2020.
Darren Morgan, the ONS’s director of economic statistics, said, “The labour market is continuing to recover, with the number of employees on payroll up again strongly in June. However, it is still over 200,000 down on pre-pandemic levels, while a large number of workers remain on furlough.”
He added, “The number of job vacancies continued to rise very strongly. The biggest sector driving this was hospitality, followed by wholesaling and retailing.”
Data shows that after the worst recession in UK history, the job market is recovering. But some economists worry about the impact of the government’s withdrawal of support measures on unemployment.
Among the concerns about rising inflation, the annual wage inflation rate, including bonuses, rose to 7.3%. The Office for National Statistics said these figures were affected by temporary factors, such as reducing lower-paying jobs and declining wages when the crisis began.
According to the job site Indeed, as the economy will fully reopen on July 19, employers are accelerating hiring. He said that the number of positions recruited has increased by 13.8% compared to February 2020, and some industries such as hotels and transportation are difficult to recruit.
Jack Kennedy, Indeed’s UK economist, said: “With job creation surging and unemployment falling, the labour market recovery is in a strong place and as prepared as it can be for the gradual phasing out of the furlough scheme over the coming months.”