UK employment rate 2022 | Statista

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In the three months to July 2023, the employment rate in the United Kingdom was 75.5 percent, compared with 75.7 in the previous month. After almost dropping below 70 percent in 2011, the employment rate in the United Kingdom started to climb at a relatively fast pace, peaking in early 2020. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the employment rate started to dip, bottoming out at 74.6 percent in January 2021. Although not quite at pre-pandemic levels, the employment rate has since recovered.

UK labor market rebounds after COVID-19

Although unemployment in the UK spiked at 5.1 percent in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it fell throughout most of 2022, to just 3.5 percent in August 2022. Around that time, the number of job vacancies in the UK was also at quite high levels, reaching a peak of 1.3 million by May 2022. The strong labor market put employees in quite a strong position, perhaps encouraging the high number of resignations that took place around that time. While wage growth has also been quite strong since 2022, high inflation has cancelled out these gains, adding to the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis in the UK.

Over 11.7 million jobs furloughed on Job Retention scheme

The UK government’s lockdown policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was a clear signs of trouble for the labor market. Closing down significant portions of society would certainly be a lot more severe for UK workers had it not being for the Job Retention Scheme. By the end of the scheme in November 2021, over 11.7 million jobs had been furloughed, with the peak, occurring in May 2020, when 8.8 million jobs were on the scheme. Jobs in the retail and hospitality sectors were naturally some of the most vulnerable to lockdowns, and these sectors had the most jobs furloughed at the height of the Spring lockdown at 602,000, and 932,000 respectively.

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