UK jobs exceed pre-pandemic levels

LONDON (AP) — The number of salaried people in the UK has surged past levels last seen before the pandemic a year and a half ago, official figures showed Tuesday, in the latest clear sign that the lifting of coronavirus restrictions has prompted companies to ramp up hiring.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the number of employees increased by 241,000 between July and August, reaching 29.1 million. The number is now 1,000 people, higher than the month before the pandemic, March 2020.

The statistics agency added that job openings rose by 249,000 in the three months ending August to more than 1 million for the first time since records began in 2001 amid labor shortages in industries such as hospitality and food service, partly linked to the pandemic but also due to the departure of the UK. from the European Union.

It also revealed that the overall unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point during July to 4.6% while the employment rate rose 0.5 percentage point to 75.2%.

Overall, the figures show the positive impact of the lifting of pandemic restrictions in recent months and a rebound in confidence following the rapid rollout of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK.

National statistician Jonathan Athow warned that the recovery in employment was not uniform and that “in hard-hit areas such as London, and in sectors such as hospitality, arts and entertainment, employment remains well below estimates. pre-pandemic level.

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