The UK job market rebounded sharply in April, as coronavirus restrictions eased and the economy began to reopen after the last lockdown.
The official unemployment rate edged down to 4.8 percent in the three months to March, from 4.9 percent previously, the Bureau of National Statistics said.
Job vacancies have increased and the number of workers on the company’s payrolls increased by 97,000 between March and April – the fifth consecutive month of growth – but remains down by 772,000 from levels. before the pandemic.
Workers in the hospitality industry, those under 25 and those living in London have seen the biggest drops in employment, the ONS said.
With millions of people remaining on full or partial leave, the total number of hours worked remains well below the number seen in February last year, before the first restrictions on coronaviruses were imposed.
After accounting for inflation, average regular compensation from January to March 2021 increased 3.6% year-over-year. The average total salary, including bonuses, increased by 3.1%.
However, these numbers distort the real picture because the average is being pushed up by a large number of lower paid workers in industries such as arts and entertainment and hospitality who are pulling out of the labor market.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The number of employees on the payroll rose sharply in April as the economy began to reopen, continuing to improve from its low of. November.
“There are, however, three quarters of a million people less on the payroll compared to the pre-pandemic peak.
“With many businesses reopening, the recent upturn in vacancies continued in April, especially in sectors such as hospitality and entertainment.
“The renewed blockage in early 2021 saw a sharp increase in the number of previously unemployed people who were no longer looking for work, which allowed the unemployment rate to fall in the quarter.
“It reflected what happened during the first lockdown.”
The latest figures show that layoffs have slowed considerably to 204,000 in the three months to February, from 308,000 and a record 395,000 in the three months to November.
Looking ahead, economists still expect unemployment to rise when the holiday program ends in September.
The EY Item club now predicts unemployment will hit 5.5 percent in the last quarter of this year, from 5.7 percent it had previously predicted.
Jonathan Reynolds, Labor shadow labor and pensions secretary, said the government risked allowing a generation of young people to be “scarred by unemployment.”
“While it is encouraging to see businesses reopening with the easing of restrictions, long-term unemployment is increasing at its fastest rate in more than a decade,” he said.
“Young people continue to bear the brunt of the crisis with more than half of the decline in employees under the age of 25, but the government’s Kickstart program has offered opportunities to only 1 in 25 young people.
Analysis of the data by the union coordinating group, the TUC, found that unemployment rose three times faster among black and ethnic minority (BME) workers than among white workers. According to TUC calculations, around 1 in 11 BME workers are currently unemployed, compared to 1 in 25 white workers.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-18 08:05:49