Jobs and pay jump as UK bounces back from pandemic


ay is jumping, unemployment is falling and there are up to a million spare jobs going, in the latest sign that the government’s furlough scheme worked and the UK is bouncing back from Covid better than most dared hope.

The numbers of people in unemployment rose by 95,000 to 32.3 million in the three months to June, far better than economists expected.

Jonathan Athow at the ONS said: “The world of work continues to rebound robustly from the effects of the pandemic.”

There are 953,000 job vacancies.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I know there could still be bumps in the road but the data is promising – there are now more employees on payrolls than at any point since March 2020 and the number of people on furlough is the lowest since the scheme launched.”

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Jack Kennedy, UK economist at the global job site Indeed, said:

“The jobs market is going from strength to strength. Between May and July there were close to a million job vacancies as employers ramped up their hiring.

“Such record-breaking numbers give a snapshot of the strength of the recovery, and reveal that the pace of hiring has finally accelerated well past its pre-pandemic level.”

The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the three months to June while average pay jumped 7.4%, official figures show.

Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, says: “The speed at which the jobs market is recovering continues to surprise to the upside.”

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said: “The labour market outperformed expectations as the economy accelerated with the relaxation of Covid-related restrictions. Changes to the business environment, such as the fall in business travel and the rise in online commerce, increased the need for skills, from IT specialists to hauliers, while at the same time caused an unusually high level of mismatch in the UK’s labour market.”