The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.0% in February to April 2023, 0.2 percentage points higher than November 2022 to January 2023. The number of people in employment increased to a record high in the latest quarter with increases in both the number of employees and self-employed workers.
The more timely estimate of payrolled employees for May 2023 shows a monthly increase, up 23,000 on the revised April 2023 figures, to 30.0 million. The May 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 February to April 2023 increased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 3.8%. 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 21.0% in February to April 2023. Looking at economic inactivity by reason, the quarterly decrease was largely driven by those inactive for other reasons and those looking after family or home. Meanwhile, those inactive because of long-term sickness increased to a record high.
In March to May 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 79,000 on the quarter to 1,051,000. Vacancies fell on the quarter for the 11th consecutive period and reflect uncertainty across industries, as survey respondents continue to cite economic pressures as a factor in holding back on recruitment.
Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.5% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 7.2% among employees in February to April 2023. For regular pay, this is the largest growth rate seen outside of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total and regular pay fell on the year in February to April 2023, by 2.0% for total pay and by 1.3% for regular pay.
There were 257,000 working days lost because of labour disputes in April 2023.
In March 2023, workforce jobs rose by a record 395,000 on the quarter to a new record high of 36.8 million, with 8 of the 20 industry sectors at record high levels.
Vacancies and jobs in the UK: June 2023
- The number of vacancies in March to May 2023 was 1,051,000, a decrease of 79,000 from December 2022 to February 2023.
- Vacancy numbers fell on the quarter for the 11th consecutive period in March to May 2023, down by 7% since December 2022 to February 2023, with vacancies falling in 13 of the 18 industry sectors.
- In March to May 2023, total vacancies were down by 250,000 from the level of a year ago, although they remained 250,000 above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) January to March 2020 levels.
- In March 2023, workforce jobs rose by a record 395,000 on the quarter to a new record high of 36.8 million, with 8 of the 20 industry sectors at record high levels.
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 13 June 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Labour market overview, UK: June 2023