The United Kingdom’s employment landscape witnessed a minor shift in the April to June 2023 period, with the employment rate standing at 75.7%, a marginal decline of 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter (January to March 2023). The drop in employment was chiefly attributed to decreases among full-time employees and self-employed individuals.
The estimate of payrolled employees for July 2023 exhibited an upward trend, reflecting a monthly increase of 97,000 compared to the revised June 2023 figure, bringing the total to 30.2 million individuals. However, the accuracy of the July estimate is subject to further refinement as more comprehensive data becomes available next month.
In contrast, the unemployment rate for April to June 2023 experienced a rise of 0.3 percentage points over the quarter, settling at 4.2%. This increase in unemployment was primarily driven by individuals who had been unemployed for up to six months.
The economic inactivity rate, which encompasses those neither employed nor actively seeking employment, contracted by 0.1 percentage points over the quarter, reaching 20.9% during the April to June 2023 period. This decrease in economic inactivity was predominantly influenced by those who were inactive due to familial or domestic responsibilities. Notably, individuals categorized as inactive because of long-term sickness reached a new peak.
Flows estimates revealed a substantial net movement from economic inactivity to unemployment between January to March 2023 and April to June 2023.
In the May to July 2023 timeframe, the estimated number of job vacancies declined by 66,000 compared to the previous quarter, totaling 1,020,000 vacancies. This marks the thirteenth consecutive quarterly decline in job vacancies.
An interesting facet of the UK’s employment landscape was the annual growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses), which stood at an impressive 7.8% during April to June 2023. This figure signifies the highest annual growth rate in regular pay since comparable records began in 2001. Moreover, annual growth in employees’ average total pay, inclusive of bonuses, amounted to 8.2%. However, it’s important to note that this total growth rate is influenced by the one-off bonus payments within the National Health Service (NHS) in June 2023. In real terms, accounting for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupier’s housing costs (CPIH), both total and regular pay witnessed year-on-year increases of 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.
The month of June 2023 saw 160,000 working days lost due to labor disputes. Of these, more than half were attributed to the Health and Social Work sector, underscoring the sector’s significant role in this statistic.