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The number of UK workers on corporate payrolls has jumped as the easing of foreclosure rules saw companies hire more staff.
UK business payrolls increased by 356,000 in June from May, according to the latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics – the first full month after Covid-19 easing restrictions on hotel businesses, places of recreation and international travel.
This is the largest monthly increase since the start of the pandemic (triggering a series of job cuts) and brings the total number of salaried employees to nearly 28.9 million.
The ONS says hospitality, wholesale and retail businesses, as well as the arts and entertainment industry have all hired more staff:
Three of the industries that saw the biggest declines all continued to see substantial monthly increases in salaried workforces, flash estimates show; between May and June 2021, accommodation and food services increased by 94,000 employees, wholesale and retail trade by 29,000 and arts and entertainment by 24,000.
However, the payroll remains 206,000 lower than pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels, underscoring the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
In an important step, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, payroll figures in some regions are now higher than pre-pandemic levels (February 2020), reports the ONS. These included Northeast, North West, East Midlands and North Ireland.
The ONS also reports that the overall unemployment rate for the three months to May was 4.8%, down from 4.7% a month ago (but lower than the previous quarter).
Great Britain employment rate was estimated at 74.8%, 1.8 percentage points lower than before the pandemic, but 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previous quarter.
Total hours worked in March-May increased from December-February, due to the relaxation of many restrictions on coronaviruses (COVID-19) – but it remains below pre-pandemic levels.
The layoff rate declined during the quarter and returned to pre-pandemic levels, the ONS adds.
Darren morgan, ONS The Director of Economic Statistics says the UK labor market continues to recover:
- 7am BST: UK unemployment statistics
- 9:30 a.m. BST: weekly economic indicators from the ONS
- 11am BST: speech by Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders “The Inflation Outlook”
- 1:30 p.m. BST: US weekly jobless claims
- 2.15 p.m. BST: American industrial production for June