The variety of workers on UK payrolls recovered to pre-pandemic ranges final month, the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) mentioned.
An increase of 241,000 in August took the entire quantity to 29.1 million, across the similar degree as in February 2020.
The ONS additionally mentioned the variety of job vacancies within the June-August interval climbed to a brand new report excessive of 1.03 million, with the largest demand for hiring seen within the resort and restaurant sector.
In the meantime the general unemployment charge – masking a barely precedent days, from Could-July, fell again once more to 4.6% from 4.7% a month earlier – having topped 5% earlier within the pandemic.
Whole wages within the three months to July rose by 8.3% on the identical interval in 2020 and by 6.8% when stripping out bonuses although the ONS cautioned that the numbers had been affected by non permanent components linked to the pandemic.
This month’s wage measure would have been used to find out subsequent 12 months’s state pension will increase – however the authorities’s announcement last week that it was quickly abandoning the “triple lock” formulation means pensioners will likely be denied the inflation-busting hike.
The ONS figures confirmed the speed of redundancies over Could-July decreased to three.4 per thousand workers, much like pre-COVID ranges.
The enhancing image for UK employment covers a interval when the federal government’s furlough help began to taper off – threatening to bump up jobless numbers.
However on the similar time the reopening of the financial system has prompted a surge in demand for employees in some sectors.
Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy nationwide statistician for financial statistics, mentioned: “Early estimates from payroll knowledge recommend that in August the entire variety of workers is across the similar degree as earlier than the pandemic, although our surveys present properly over 1,000,000 are nonetheless on furlough.
“Nonetheless, this restoration is not even: in hard-hit areas resembling London and sectors resembling hospitality and humanities and leisure the numbers of employees stay properly down on pre-pandemic ranges.
“The general employment charge continues to get better, significantly amongst teams resembling younger employees who had been laborious hit on the outset of the pandemic, whereas unemployment has fallen.
“Vacancies reached a brand new report excessive.
“Not surprisingly, that is pushed above all by hospitality, the sector with the very best proportion of employers reporting their job openings are laborious to fill.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak mentioned: “In the present day’s statistics present that our plan for jobs is working.
“As we proceed to get better from the pandemic, our focus stays on creating alternatives and supporting individuals’s jobs.”
Not all measures of the roles market confirmed a whole restoration to pre-COVID ranges – partly as a result of some solely cowl as much as July whereas payroll numbers go as much as August.
The employment charge for the three months to July, at 75.2%, remained 1.3% decrease than at February 2020 whereas the unemployment charge for that interval remains to be greater than the 4% degree seen a 12 months and a half in the past.