THE number of job vacancies surged past one million for the first time ever in July as the country came out of lockdown.
And there were no signs of an increase in redundancies as the furlough scheme began winding down, according to official jobs data released today.
More jobs are available and more people are in work new data showsCredit: Getty – Contributor
The rate of unemployment dipped further to 4.7% in the three months to June, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.
There were 182,000 Brits added to payrolls between June and July as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
That brings the total number to 28.9milliuon, although that is still 201,000 lower than before the coronavirus pandemic.
Jonathan Athow , ONS deputy national statistician said: “The world of work continues to rebound robustly from the effects of the pandemic.
“The number of people on payroll was up again strongly and has now grown over half a million in the past three months, regaining about four-fifths of the fall seen at the start of the pandemic.”
“As large parts of the economy started to reopen in recent months, the number of hours worked went past one billion a week for the first time since the pandemic.”
He said that if the high levels of job vacancies feeds through to more jobs then employment rates should go up in the coming months.
The furlough job support scheme which has supported Brits unable to work because of the pandemic will come to an end in September.
Recent official data shows 1.9million were having their wages paid by the government at the end of June.
That was down from 3million at the end of March and Mr Athow said today that more recent survey data suggests the number of people on furlough has fallen further since June, but it is unclear by how much.
He said: “We do not know what will happen to these people as furlough winds down.
“At the moment there is no indications of large scale planned redundancies using Insolvency Service data. But we will just have to wait to see what happens when the scheme ends.”
The Insolvency Service keeps tracks of companies which go under.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures show that our plan for jobs is working – saving people’s jobs and getting people back into work.
“I know there could still be bumps in the road but the data is promising – there are now more employees on payrolls than at any point since March 2020 and the number of people on furlough is the lowest since the scheme launched.”
One million jobs may still be at risk as companies continue to struggle because of Covid despite restrictions lifting, researchers have warned.
Mims Davies, the minister for employment, said: “There are positive signs of recovery in today’s jobs figures with the number of young people and older workers on payrolls up on the quarter and the employment rate increasing to 75.1%.”
“There is still work to do and we’re focused on helping employers fill roles through our Plan for Jobs – giving people of all ages the skills, support and experience needed to confidently land that next opportunity.”
Data released last week shows the economy grew by 1% in June despite the delay to Freedom Day when most lockdown restrictions ended.
The Bank o England has warned that the country is likely to experience price rises in the run up to Christmas, with inflation set to rise to 4% – well above its 2% target.
Inflation data released tomorrow (August 18) is expected to show that prices are rising at a rate of 2.6% in July.