Labour Market Statistics
March 23 2021 - The unemployment rate stands at 5.0%, 1.1% higher than a year ago and 0.1% higher than the previous quarter. 32.37 million people were in work in the November 2020 to January 2021 quarter according to the labour force survey (LFS). This was 611,000 lower than the same month last year and down 147,000 on the previous quarter.
The working age employment rate was 75.0% compared with 75.8% in the previous quarter and 76.5% a year ago.
ILO-defined unemployment in the November 2020 to January 2021 quarter was estimated at 1.70 million (5.0%) - up by 360,000 on last year and up by 11,000 on the quarter.
Average wages, including bonuses rose by 4.8% and 4.2% excluding bonuses over the year. Taking inflation into account, these increases were equivalent to 3.0% and 2.5% in real value.
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:
"While the latest ONS figures show a drop in vacancies and employment numbers up to February 2021, the overall picture is largely more promising. We canít overlook the fact that February was the last month that annual figures compared non-pandemic statistics with a Covid and lockdown hit economy. The number of job vacancies in December 2020 to February 2021 may be down 26.8% compared to the same time last year, but this is a notable improvement on the numbers from the summer of 2020, where a 60% decrease was reported at times.
"The increase in average total pay between November 2020 and January 2021 suggests that while vacancies are down as the furlough scheme remains in place, where employment and recruitment are stable, salary levels are being bolstered.
"Hiring is still being impacted, but trends do suggest that the disparity year-on-year is closing and it will be Marchís data the shows the true extent of the UKís economic recovery so far. This success will hinge on continued Government support as the slow easing of restrictions continues. For businesses, a carefully planned and phased re-opening that is balanced with the appropriate aid will be the critical success factor over the coming months."