ONS Labour market overview, UK: July 2023

Monday, July 17, 2023

The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.0% in March to May 2023, 0.2 percentage points higher than December 2022 to February 2023. The quarterly increase in employment was mainly attributed to part-time employees.

The estimate of payrolled employees for June 2023 shows a monthly decrease, down 9,000 on the revised May 2023 figure, to 30.0 million. The June 2023 estimate should be treated as a provisional estimate and is likely to be revised when more data are received next month.

The unemployment rate for March to May 2023 increased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 4.0%. The increase in unemployment was driven by people unemployed for up to 12 months.

The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter, to 20.8% in March to May 2023. The decrease in economic inactivity during the latest quarter was largely driven by those inactive for other reasons, those looking after family or home, and those who are retired.

The increases in the employment and unemployment rates and the decrease in the inactivity rate during the latest quarter were attributed to men.

In April to June 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 85,000 on the quarter to 1,034,000. Vacancies fell on the quarter for the 12th consecutive period.

Growth in employees' average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.9% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 7.3% in March to May 2023. For regular pay, this equals the highest growth rate, which was also seen last month and during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period for April to June 2021.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total and regular pay fell on the year in March to May 2023, by 1.2% for total pay and 0.8% for regular pay.

There were 128,000 working days lost because of labour disputes in May 2023, the lowest number of days lost since July 2022.

Vacancies and jobs in the UK: July 2023

  • The number of vacancies in April to June 2023 was 1,034,000, a decrease of 85,000 from January to March 2023.
  • Vacancy numbers fell on the quarter for the 12th consecutive period in April to June 2023, down by 7.6% since January to March 2023, with vacancies falling in every quarter of the last year.
  • In April to June 2023, total vacancies were down by 265,000 from the level of a year ago, although they remained 232,000 above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) January to March 2020 levels.
  • In March to May 2023, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.3, up from 1.1 the previous quarter (December 2022 to February 2023) as the number of vacancies fell while unemployment rose.


Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 13 June 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Labour market overview, UK: June 2023