UK unemployment falls as number of workers on payrolls rises by 31,000

The number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 between May and June to 29.6 million, the Office for National Statistics said

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While unemployment fell, Brits saw their pay packets continue to lag heavily behind inflation.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that regular wages excluding bonuses plunged by 3.7 percent over the three months to May against the rate of consumer price index (CPI) inflation, representing the biggest slump in more than 20 years.

Regular pay, excluding bonuses, rose slightly to 4.3 percent for the period without taking inflation into account.

It comes after CPI inflation hit a 40-year record of 9.1 percent in May and is expected to reach as high as 11 percent later this year.

The number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 between May and June
The number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 between May and June
Current Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi
Current Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi

Pressure on wages came as official figures showed that the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 between May and June to 29.6 million.

ONS head of labour market and household statistics David Freeman said: “Today’s figures continue to suggest a mixed picture for the labour market.

“The number of people in employment remains below pre-pandemic levels and, while the number of people neither working nor looking for a job is now falling, it remains well up on where it was before Covid-19 struck.

“With demand for labour clearly still very high, unemployment fell again, employment rose and there was another record low for redundancies.

“Following recent increases in inflation, pay is now clearly falling in real terms, both including and excluding bonuses.”

Two million more women have joined the workforce since 2010, the results show.

DWP minister Julie Marson MP said: “It’s fantastic news that today we’ve got 2 million more women in work than in 2010 and the latest OECD data shows we have the second highest level of women in work in the G7.

“As we grow the economy, it’s vital we make sure everyone can find a job that’s right for them – and importantly that they can progress in work.

“That’s why we’re keeping up our support to get people at any age or career stage into work, including a new multi-million pound offer to help the over 50s get into, and remain in employment.”