The number of employees on British company payrolls surged in June by the most since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data out this morning which painted a picture of a roaring jobs market and growing inflationary pressure from rising wages.

Figures showed a 356,000 leap in employment in June from May.

The increase was driven by 94,000 more accommodation and food jobs, which were hit by lockdowns that have now been largely lifted, and a 72,000 rise in jobs in administration and support services, including temporary staff at recruitment agencies.

The headline unemployment rate for the three months to May stood at 4.8%, the Office for National Statistics said.

The figures showed the fastest headline wage growth in the year to May since records began in 2000, although the comparisons have been skewed by greater job losses among low-paid workers and comparison with depressed wages a year ago.

Average weekly earnings in the three months to the end of May rose by 7.3% compared with a year earlier.

The ONS estimated underlying wage growth, excluding distortions caused by the pandemic, was between 3.9% and 5.1% for average weekly earnings. For average earnings excluding bonuses it was between 3.2% and 4.4%.


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