UK hiring surged in June as economy bounces back – ONS

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of employees on British company payrolls surged by 356,000 in June from May, the biggest increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as the economy bounced back from its coronavirus lockdowns, tax data showed on Thursday.

The increase was driven by a 94,000 leap in accommodation and food jobs, which were heavily hit by lockdowns that have now largely lifted, and by a 72,000 rise in jobs in administration and support services.

The headline unemployment rate for the three months to May rose to 4.8%, the Office for National Statistics said.

Economists polled by Reuters had mostly expected the unemployment rate to hold at 4.7% in the three months to April.

Thursday’s figures also showed the fastest headline wage growth in the year to May since records began in 2000 although the comparisons have been skewed by greater job losses among low-paid workers and comparison with depressed wages a year ago.

Average weekly earnings in the three months to the end of May rose by 7.3% compared with a year earlier.

The ONS estimated underlying wage growth, excluding distortions caused by the pandemic, was between 3.9% and 5.1% for average weekly earnings and between 3.2% and 4.4% for average earnings excluding bonuses.

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