Number of UK payroll employees increased 31,000 in June from May; number of payroll employees at a record 29.6 million: ONS

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LONDON , July 19, 2022 (press release) –

Estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK.

Main points
The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for March to May 2022 show that over the quarter, there was an increase in the employment rate, while unemployment and economic inactivity rates decreased.

The UK employment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter to 75.9%, but is still below pre- coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels. The number of full-time employees increased during the latest three-month period to a record high. Part-time employees also increased during the latest three-month period, continuing to show a recovery from the large falls in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of self-employed workers fell during the coronavirus pandemic and has remained low, although the number has increased during the latest three-month period. The increase was driven by part-time self-employed, and was largely offset by a decrease in the number of full-time self-employed.

The most timely estimate of payrolled employees for June 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 31,000 on the revised May 2022 figures, to a record 29.6 million.

The unemployment rate for March to May 2022 decreased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 3.8%. Those unemployed for up to six months increased over the latest three-month period at the fastest rate since late 2020.

The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 21.1% in March to May 2022. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the increases in economic inactivity were driven by those who were economically inactive and who did not want a job. This group have now also driven the quarterly decrease during the latest period.

The number of job vacancies in April to June 2022 rose to 1,294,000. However, the rate of growth in vacancies continued to slow down.

Growth in employees' average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.2% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 4.3% in March to May 2022. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), over the year, total pay fell by 0.9% and regular pay fell by 2.8%. Note, we are comparing the latest period with a period where certain sectors (accommodation and food service activities, and wholesale and retail) had employees on furlough as a result of the winter 2020 to 2021 lockdown. Therefore, a small amount of base effect will be present for these sectors, but not to the degree we saw when comparing with periods at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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