Payroll numbers rise AGAIN and unemployment drops – while wages rise by 4.9 per cent amid alarm at surging inflation
- Payroll numbers rose again in November despite effects of the end of furlough
- Unemployment dipped in the three months to October in another bright sign
- Wages rose by 4.9 per cent in the quarter amid fears over rampant inflation
Fears over the end of furlough causing a wave of redundancies faded today as figures showed payroll numbers rising and unemployment dropping.
The number of staff on companies’ books rose 257,000 in November compared to the previous month, and is now 424,000 on the pre-Covid level.
Unemployment also dipped to 4.2 per cent in the quarter to October – easing concerns that the end of the huge bailout in September would spark mass layoffs.
However, there were more alarming signs of inflationary pressure building in the jobs market. In the three months to October, average total pay including bonuses rose by 4.9 per cent.
The number of staff on companies’ books rose 257,000 in November compared to the previous month, and is now 424,000 on the pre-Covid level
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: ‘With still no sign of the end of the furlough scheme hitting the number of jobs, the total of employees on payroll continued to grow strongly in November, although it could include people recently made redundant but still working out their notice.
‘The number on payroll is now above pre-pandemic levels right across the country.
‘Separately, survey findings show much of the recent growth in employment has been among part-timers, who were particularly hard hit at the start of the pandemic.
‘While job vacancies continue at record levels, the number is not growing as fast as it did earlier this year.’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ‘jobs outlook remains strong’.
‘To keep safeguarding our economic recovery and the lives and livelihoods of the British people, I am now calling on everyone to keep playing their part and Get Boosted Now,’ he said.
Economist Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the data suggested a ‘painless end to the furlough scheme’.
He said the figures would likely have prompted the Bank of England to raise interest rates at this week’s decision, ‘if Omicron had not emerged’.
‘Omicron, however, could hit employment in the consumer services sector, which already has suffered from declining demand,’ he added.
The ONS figures showed unemployment fell 127,000 to 1.4million in the quarter to October, while employment lifted 149,000 to 32.5million.
Employment minister Mims Davies MP said: ‘With the number of people on payrolls now above pre-pandemic levels across every region and age group, including the biggest monthly increase on record in November, it’s clear our Plan for Jobs is working.
‘As we look ahead to next year, we remain wholeheartedly committed to helping employers recruit for the record number of opportunities out there and to giving people – at any age and any career stage – the support and skills they need to confidently land their next role.’
In the three months to October, average total pay including bonuses rose by 4.9 per cent