Rishi Sunak says economy is ‘bouncing back’ with record increase in UK payroll
UK lockdown: Economy must be reopened says Lord Bilimoria
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There was a record 356,000 increase in payrolled workers between May and June, the seventh monthly rise in a row. Firms hired at a blistering pace after indoor hospitality reopened and ahead of the final lifting of restrictions on Monday. The Office for National Statistics said the rise was the biggest since Covid struck and since records began in 2014.
Pay was also shown to be booming and vacancies rose by 241,000 quarter-on-quarter to 862,000, between April and June. This was 77,500 above the first three months of 2020, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
The jobless rate dropped again, to 4.8 percent between March and May, down from five percent.
The ONS said unemployment fell 68,000 to 1.6 million between March and May, while employment rose 25,000 to 32.2 million.
Mr Sunak said: “We are bouncing back.” And he told Sky News: “The best way to help people in the long term is to get them into well-paid work and we are throwing the kitchen sink at that as part of our plan for jobs.
“It’s worked over the past year it continues to work. We should have confidence that it will help to drive our recovery and provide people with the opportunities they need.”
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However, the number of payrolled workers is still 206,000 below pre-pandemic levels.
Experts also expect a rise in jobless figures once furlough ends in September.
There was an increase of 101,000 payrolled employees aged under 25 last month driven by the hospitality sector.
Suren Thiru, of the British Chambers of Commerce, said there was “surging demand for labour amid the economy unlocking” but urged more “access to the high and low skilled workers that firms need”.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor welcomed start-up UtterBerry’s plan to open a factory in Leeds, creating up to 1,000 jobs.
The firm’s AI sensors are used on Crossrail. Mr Sunak said: “It’s fantastic news for Leeds that UtterBerry is creating hundreds of new manufacturing jobs, backed by our super-deduction tax relief.”
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