UK Unemployment Rate Rises
15th September 2020
The Office for National Statistics has published the latest Employment and Unemployment statistics today.
Early indicators for August 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls was down around 695,000 compared with March 2020.
Figures for May to July 2020 show an increase in the unemployment rate; despite this increase and an increase in the number of redundancies, the employment rate was up and the economic inactivity rate has fallen.
Over the quarter, there has been a large decrease in the number of young people in employment, while unemployment for young people has increased.
While redundancies were still historically low, both the quarterly and annual changes are the largest seen since 2009.
The number of people who are estimated to be temporarily away from work (including furloughed workers) has fallen, but it was still more than 5 million in July 2020, with over 2.5 million of these being away for three months or more. There were also around 250,000 people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay in July 2020.
Total hours worked was still low but showed some signs of recovery in the three months to July 2020.
Vacancies continued to show increases in the latest period, driven by the smaller businesses, some of which are reporting taking on additional staff to meet coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.
The Claimant Count reached 2.7 million in August 2020, an increase of 120.8% since March 2020.
The rate of decline in employee pay growth slowed in July following strong falls in the previous three months. For the sectors of wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants and construction, where the highest percentage of employees returned to work from furlough, there was a slight improvement in pay growth for July 2020.
May to July figures show an increase in the unemployment rate; despite this increase and an increase in the number of redundancies, the employment rate is still not falling.
Though still large, the reductions in total hours worked both on the year and the quarter are smaller than last month, with the May to July period covering a time when some of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures started to be eased.
Early estimates for August 2020 from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) indicate that the number of payroll employees fell by 2.4% (695,000) compared with March 2020.
The Claimant Count increased in August 2020, reaching 2.7 million; this includes both those working with low income or hours and those who are not working.
Vacancies in the UK in June to August 2020 were at an estimated 434,000; this is almost 30% higher than the record low in April to June 2020.
The rate of decline in employee pay growth slowed in July following strong falls in the previous three months; growth has been affected by lower pay for furloughed employees and reduced bonuses; with some employees returning to work, nominal regular pay growth is back positive for May to July 2020 after being negative in the three
months to June 2020.
Read the full report HERE