“Our Plan for Jobs will continue to create jobs and help people back in to work, through schemes like Kickstart, traineeships and apprenticeships.”
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP says:
“In the past year we have supported over 14.5 million people across the country through our Plan for Jobs including through the Kickstart Scheme. We know that it’s not been possible to save every job, but we have protected as many as we can, whilst helping new jobseekers through our DWP programmes to secure work.
“There is still work to do as today’s figures show, but importantly we’re on the right track and pushing for recovery – with a sustained rise in the number of people on payrolls, including 135,000 more young people in work this month, and another rise in vacancies on offer as we continue on our roadmap.”
But Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, points to the rise in long-term unemployment:
Nearly half a million people have been unemployed for a year yet the Restart jobs scheme has been live for just three days.
Labour has a plan to buy, make and sell more in Britain so we can create the jobs of the future, nurture the skills we need and get our economy firing on all cylinders.
Labour’s jobs promise would guarantee a job or training opportunity for any young person away from work or education for six months, and ensure no one is away from work for more than a year.
The number of job vacancies has risen over its pre-pandemic level as UK firms try to hire staff to handle the increased demand as the economy reopened.
In April-June there were an estimated 862,000 job vacancies, the ONS says, a jump of almost 39% compared with the previous quarter.
That’s nearly 10% above above its level in January to March 2020, and the first time vacancies have risen over that level since the pandemic began.
Almost all industries posted more vacancies compared with the previous quarter.
Arts, entertainment and recreation showing the largest percentage gain, followed by accommodation and food services, as the relaxing of restrictions prompted firms to take on staff.
The ONS says:
Among the industries that saw a growth in vacancies on the quarter, the most notable was arts, entertainment and recreation, up 330.4%. It is also notable that five industries displayed a record number of vacancies from April to June 2021 with accommodation and food service activities increasing the most by 73,400 on the last quarter to 102,000.
In this sector there is evidence of a shortage of skilled staff and of employees finding alternative areas of employment prior to the sector reopening.
Today’s employment report also shows that wages surged in the last quarter, but the underlying picture is rather less rosy.
Average total pay (including bonuses) jumped by 7.3% per year in the three months to May, while regular pay was up 6.6% – the highest levels in at least 20 years, as this chart shows.
But… these average pay growth rates are being distorted by the job losses among lower-paid workers jobs, who were hit badly by Covid-19.
The analogy I like to use is height. If the shortest person in a room leaves, the average height of those remaining will rise. No-one has got taller, but the composition of the people in the room has changed, pushing up average height. In terms of average earnings, if someone paid less than the average (£540 a week) loses their job, other things equal, the average earnings will increase.
Athow also points out that the pay figures are influenced by ‘base effects’, caused by the pandemic.
In spring-summer 2020, many workers were on furlough or had their hours reduced. This meant that people saw their earnings fall, pushing down weekly wages. This year, with fewer people on furlough and hours returning closer to normal, weekly wages are higher.
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The number of UK workers on company payrolls has jumped, as the relaxation of lockdown rules saw firms take on more staff.
UK company payrolls rose 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 restrictions on hospitality firms, leisure venues and international travel were eased.
That’s the largest monthly increase since the pandemic began (triggering a swathe of job cuts) and lifts the total number of payroll employees to nearly 28.9 million.
The ONS says hospitality, wholesale and retail companies, and the arts and entertainment sector all took on more staff:
Three of the sectors that have had the greatest decreases have all continued to see substantial monthly increases in payrolled employees, according to flash estimates; between May and June 2021, accommodation and food services increased by 94,000 employees, wholesale and retail by 29,000, and arts and entertainment by 24,000.
However, payrolls remain 206,000 below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels, highlighting the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
In a significant milestone, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, payroll numbers some regions are now above pre-pandemic (February 2020) levels, the ONS reports. These include North East, North West, East Midlands and Northern Ireland.