The employment rate in the United Kingdom reached 76.0% in the period of March to May 2023, reflecting a 0.2 percentage point increase compared to the period of December 2022 to February 2023. The quarterly rise in employment was primarily driven by part-time employees, according to estimates.
However, the estimate of payrolled employees for June 2023 showed a monthly decrease of 9,000 individuals compared to the revised figure for May 2023, bringing the total to 30.0 million. It is important to note that the June estimate is provisional and subject to revision as more data becomes available next month.
The unemployment rate for March to May 2023 also increased by 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter, reaching 4.0%. The rise in unemployment was predominantly attributed to individuals who had been unemployed for up to 12 months.
On a positive note, the economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points in the same quarter, settling at 20.8% in March to May 2023. The decline in economic inactivity was largely driven by individuals who were inactive for various reasons, including those looking after family or home and retirees.
The increases in the employment and unemployment rates, along with the decrease in the inactivity rate, during the quarter were primarily observed among men.
In the period of April to June 2023, the estimated number of job vacancies declined by 85,000 compared to the previous quarter, totaling 1,034,000 vacancies. This marks the 12th consecutive quarterly decrease in job vacancies.
Regarding pay growth, employees’ average total pay (including bonuses) showed a growth rate of 6.9% in March to May 2023, while regular pay (excluding bonuses) grew by 7.3%. This level of growth in regular pay equals the highest rate seen in the previous month and during the pandemic period of April to June 2021.
However, when adjusted for inflation, real growth in both total and regular pay experienced a decline compared to the same period the previous year. Total pay growth fell by 1.2% in real terms, while regular pay growth dropped by 0.8%.
Additionally, the number of working days lost due to labor disputes in May 2023 was reported at 128,000, the lowest figure since July 2022.