The number of people with jobs rebounded to pre-pandemic levels after the biggest jump in employment since 2014, new figures show. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said workers on payrolls rose by 241,000 between July and August. It also said the rate of unemployment dropped again, to 4.6 percent. The Chancellor said: “Today’s statistics show that our plan for jobs is working. “The unemployment rate has fallen for seven months in a row, the number of employees on payrolls is back above pre-pandemic levels and there were fewer potential redundancies notified in August than at any point since the start of last year.
The ONS also reported a “strong increase” in the employment rate among people aged between 16 and 24, alongside a decrease in the unemployment and inactivity rates.
Young people had seen particularly significant increases in unemployment as retail, hospitality and leisure roles were impacted by the pandemic. Wages continue to rise, the ONS said. Economists also welcomed the latest figures.
Karl Thompson, economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “Today’s data provide encouraging evidence of continued recovery in the UK labour market.
“The ability to bring those still on furlough back to their existing employment, or to channel them into new vacancies, will determine the extent to which unemployment ticks up following the termination of the scheme this month.”
Professor Len Shackleton, editorial and research fellow at free market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the figures were “broadly positive”.