ONS Report: Earnings and Employment in the UK - October 2023

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has collaborated with HMRC to present the latest findings on earnings and employment in the United Kingdom, based on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) for October 2023. This report sheds light on the dynamic economic landscape in the UK, offering comprehensive insights into workforce and compensation trends.

Key Highlights

Payrolled Employees Increase: In September 2023, the UK saw a substantial 1.2% increase in payrolled employees compared to the same month in 2022, amounting to 369,000 additional employees. Impressively, this marks a 3.8% growth since February 2020, equating to a surge of 1,102,000 employees.

Steady Employment: September 2023 revealed relatively stable payrolled employment figures compared to August 2023, with a slight decrease of 11,000 employees (0%). However, this is provisional data subject to revision with upcoming data releases.

Revised Figures: August 2023's payrolled employee data has been revised to show a more significant decrease of 8,000 employees, previously reported as a decrease of 1,000. This revision reflects the incorporation of additional real-time information submissions, enhancing data accuracy.

Rising Median Pay: The median monthly pay witnessed substantial growth, increasing by 5.7% in September 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. When compared to February 2020, there was a noteworthy 21.7% increase.

Regional Disparities: In Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) 3 regions, Luton experienced the highest annual growth in payrolled employees in September 2023, with an impressive 3.8% rise. In contrast, the lowest growth was recorded in Camden and the City of London, with a fall of 2.1%.

Sectoral Trends: The health and social work sector stood out with the most significant increase in payrolled employees, rising by 182,000 employees between September 2022 and September 2023. Conversely, the administrative and support services sector saw a decline of 29,000 employees.

Median Pay by Sector: Annual growth in median pay for employees varied across sectors. The transportation and storage sector had the most substantial increase at 13.5%, while the health and social work sector witnessed a slight decrease of 0.3%, partly attributed to comparisons with high lump-sum payments in September 2022.

The latest ONS report showcases the dynamic nature of the UK labor market and provides valuable insights into the changing employment landscape and wage trends. It underscores the resilience of the economy as it recovers from the impact of the global pandemic, and the variations across regions and sectors that contribute to the nation's economic diversity.


Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), released 17 October 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, UK: October 2023.