The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.0% in March to May 2023, 0.2 percentage points higher than December 2022 to February 2023. The quarterly increase in employment was mainly attributed to part-time employees.
The estimate of payrolled employees for June 2023 shows a monthly decrease, down 9,000 on the revised May 2023 figure, to 30.0 million. The June 2023 estimate should be treated as a provisional estimate and is likely to be revised when more data are received next month.
The unemployment rate for March to May 2023 increased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 4.0%. The increase in unemployment was driven by people unemployed for up to 12 months.
The economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter, to 20.8% in March to May 2023. The decrease in economic inactivity during the latest quarter was largely driven by those inactive for other reasons, those looking after family or home, and those who are retired.
The increases in the employment and unemployment rates and the decrease in the inactivity rate during the latest quarter were attributed to men.
In April to June 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 85,000 on the quarter to 1,034,000. Vacancies fell on the quarter for the 12th consecutive period.
Growth in employees' average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.9% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 7.3% in March to May 2023. For regular pay, this equals the highest growth rate, which was also seen last month and during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period for April to June 2021.
In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total and regular pay fell on the year in March to May 2023, by 1.2% for total pay and 0.8% for regular pay.
There were 128,000 working days lost because of labour disputes in May 2023, the lowest number of days lost since July 2022.Back to table of contents
Summary of labour market statistics
Dataset A01 | Released 11 July 2023
Labour market statistics summary data table, including earnings, employment, unemployment, redundancies and vacancies, Great Britain and UK, published monthly.
Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted
Dataset | Released 11 July 2023
Earnings and employment statistics from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) (experimental statistics), seasonally adjusted.
Labour Force Survey single-month estimates
Dataset X01 | Released 11 July 2023
Labour Force Survey (LFS) single-month estimates of employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity. Not designated as National Statistics.
A guide to labour market data
Methodology | Updated 21 April 2023
Summary of labour market datasets, providing estimates of employment, unemployment, average weekly earnings and the number of vacancies. Tables are listed alphabetically and by topic.
View all related data on our related data page.
Alternatively, Nomis provides free access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics.
Average weekly earnings
Average weekly earnings, detailed in our Guide to labour market statistics methodology, measure money paid by employers to employees in Great Britain before tax and other deductions from pay. The estimates are not just a measure of pay rises, because they also reflect, for example, changes in the overall structure of the workforce.
More high-paid jobs in the economy would have an upward effect on the earnings growth rate.
People not in the labour force (also known as economically inactive in our Guide to labour market statistics methodology are not in employment but do not meet the internationally accepted definition of unemployment. This is because they have not been seeking work within the last four weeks or they are unable to start work in the next two weeks. The economic inactivity rate is the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 years who are not in the labour force.
Employment measures the number of people in paid work or who had a job that they were temporarily away from (for example, because they were on holiday or off sick). This differs from the number of jobs, because some people have more than one job. The employment rate is the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 years who are in employment. See our Guide to labour market statistics methodology for a more detailed explanation.
Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. The unemployment rate is not the proportion of the total population who are unemployed. It is the proportion of the economically active population (people in work and those seeking and available to work) who are unemployed. See our Guide to labour market statistics methodology for more information.
Vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking recruits from outside their business or organisation. The estimates are based on the Vacancy Survey. This is a survey of businesses designed to provide estimates of the stock of vacancies across the economy, excluding agriculture, forestry, and fishing (a small sector for which the collection of estimates would not be practical). For more information, see our Guide to labour market statistics methodology.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI)
These data come from HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) system. They cover the whole population, rather than a sample of people or companies, and they will allow for more detailed estimates of the population. The release is classed as experimental statistics (see our Guide to experimental statistics methodology), as the methodologies used to produce the statistics are still in their development phase. As a result, the series are subject to revisions.
A more detailed glossary is available in our Guide to labour market statistics methodology.Back to table of contents
Our Comparison of labour market data sources methodology compares data sources and discusses some of the main differences.
For more information on how labour market data sources were affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, see our Coronavirus and the effects on UK labour market statistics article.
Labour Force Survey reweighting
The population totals used for the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates use projected growth rates from Real Time Information (RTI) data for EU and non-EU populations based on 2021 patterns. Therefore, the total population used for the LFS, does not account for any changes in migration, birth rates, death rates, and so on since June 2021. As such, levels estimates may be under- or over-estimating the true values and should be used with caution. Estimates of rates will, however, be robust.
We are planning to reweight the Labour Force Survey (LFS) published data using more up-to-date population estimates, drawing on the latest census data alongside our labour market release in October 2023. We intend to publish indicative estimates of the reweighted LFS in an article publishing in September 2023.
Making our published spreadsheets accessible
Following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on Releasing statistics in spreadsheets, we will be amending our published tables over the coming months to improve usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics. To help users change to the new formats, we will be publishing sample versions of a selection of our tables and, where practical, initially publish the tables in both the new and current formats. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.
Labour market transformation
We welcome your feedback on this latest update and our plans. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us what you think.
Occupational data in Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveys
On 18 July 2022, the Office for National Statistics announced an issue with the collection of some occupational data. On 26 September 2022, we informed users of the impact of the coding error in our Impact of miscoding of occupational data article. We have undertaken a recoding exercise to correct the error and have revised affected Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates alongside this release. For more detail on the new methodology used and its impact, see Revision of miscoded occupational data in the ONS Labour Force Survey, UK article, released 11 July at 9:30.
We will be updating Annual Population Survey estimates published on Nomis alongside the August 2023 labour market release.Back to table of contents
The estimates presented in this bulletin contain uncertainty. For more information, see our Uncertainty and how we measure it methodology.
Further information is available in our Guide to labour market statistics methodology.
Information on revisions is available in our Labour market statistics revisions policy.
Information on the strengths and limitations of this bulletin is available in our previous bulletin, Labour market overview, UK: April 2021.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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