Fears of mass layoffs after furlough fade as payroll numbers rise AGAIN and unemployment drops – while wages rise by 4.9 per cent amid alarm at surging inflation

  • In spite of the furlough ending, November saw a rebound in payroll numbers
  • In another positive sign, unemployment fell in the three-months to October.
  • In the fourth quarter, wages rose by 4.9% amid concerns about rampant inflation 

As figures show that the unemployment rate is dropping, payroll numbers rose and there was less concern about furlough ending, fears of redundancies have subsided.

The number of staff on companies’ books rose 257,000 in November compared to the previous month, and is now 424,000 on the pre-Covid level.

Also, unemployment fell to 4.2% in the quarter ended October. This eases fears that mass layoffs would result from the September end of the massive bailout. 

But, inflationary pressures are growing in the employment market. In the three months to October, average total pay including bonuses rose by 4.9 per cent. 

In November, the number of employees on company books increased by 257,000 compared with the preceding month. It now stands at 424,000 on the level pre-Covid.

Darren Morgan, ONS’ director of economic statistics, stated that there was no indication of the ending of the furlough program. However, payroll continued to rise strongly in November. This could be due to the possibility of people who were recently laid off but are still working on their notice. 

“The national payroll has risen to levels that are higher than those of the pandemic.

“Separately,” survey results show that much of recent employment growth has occurred among part-timers who were especially hard hit during the pandemic.

The number of job vacancies continues to rise at record rates, but they are not increasing as rapidly as this time last year.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, said that “the outlook for jobs remains good.” 

“To continue safeguarding our economic recovery as well as the lives and livelihoods for the British people, I’m now asking everyone to play their part and get boosted now,” he stated.

Mims Davies, MP, Employment Minister, stated that the numbers of workers on the payrolls are now higher than pre-pandemic levels in all regions and age groups, with the largest monthly rise on record for November. It is clear that our Plan for Jobs works.

‘As we look ahead to next year, we remain wholeheartedly committed to helping employers recruit for the record number of opportunities out there and to giving people – at any age and any career stage – the support and skills they need to confidently land their next role.’

In the three months to October, average total pay including bonuses rose by 4.9 per cent

The average pay, including bonuses, grew by 4.9% in the three months leading up to October