More people now working than before the pandemic began

The number of UK workers on the company’s payroll has soared more than 120,000 above pre-pandemic levels after a record jump in September, as job vacancies were above a million for the second consecutive month, according to official figures.

The Bureau of National Statistics (ONS) said the number of paid workers rose 207,000 between August and September to a record 29.2 million.

That was 122,000 more than before the pandemic broke out in February 2020.

The data also showed another quarterly record jump in job openings, up 1.1 million between July and September.

The UK’s rebound in the labor market pushed the unemployment rate further down to 4.5% between June and August, the ONS added.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at ONS, said: “The labor market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, with the number of employees in September well above pre-pandemic levels.

“The job vacancies also hit a new monthly record of nearly 1.2 million in September, with our latest estimates suggesting that all industries now have at least as many jobs on offer as they did before the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Commenting on the latest job numbers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “As we move on to the next phase of our support, it is encouraging to see that our Plan for Jobs is working – the expected layoffs remained very low in September, with more employees on the payroll than ever before and the unemployment rate has fallen for eight straight months.

“We continue to be committed to helping people find great work, with an additional £ 500m to get hundreds of thousands back into work and help low-income earners move forward in their careers.”

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