Once again, the Office for National Statistics have unveiled their latest report, detailing the ebbs and flows of the UK’s ever-changing jobs market.

This time around, after almost two years of uncertainty in the world of employment, the ONS reveal we are beginning to enter into a period of recovery. 

Here, we summarise the key facts from the report, as well as analysing what some of the data will mean for employers and employees alike.

Key facts from the report:

  • The number of payrolled workers has increased by a record amount in the last month
  • The UK’s unemployment rate fell dramatically, almost to pre-pandemic levels
  • The number of reports of redundancy dropped to the lowest levels since records began


Growth for the labour market…

Despite uncertainty caused by the lingering effects of the pandemic, and fresh concerns brought about by the Government’s Plan B measures, and the threat of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the UK jobs market went from strength to strength according to the latest data gathered in December 2021.


Number on payroll increases…

29.5 million people aged between 16 and 64 were classed as payrolled workers in December, according to the latest ONS figures. This is a record increase – jumping by around 184,000 month on month. 


Unemployment rate drops…

While we haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels just yet, for the first time, we came close. The unemployment rate for the UK fell 128,000 to 1.38 million quarter-on-quarter in the three months to November, while employment experienced buoyancy; rising 60,000 to 32.5 million, or 75.5%.


Redundancies lowest on record…

After the end of the Government’s furlough scheme, which came to a close in September 2021, many were worried about a potential rush of those out of work as firms struggled to fund staff members when the pandemic still stilted sales. This, however, proved not to be the case as redundancy notifications reached their lowest levels since 2006 in December. 


But there is still some way to go…

While we’ve had some excellent news in this report, it’s not all plain sailing for the labour market, showing possible improvements to be made in future datasets. Rising rates of inflation meant a slight drop to average weekly earnings and salaries. 


Want to see the full dataset and accompanying reports from the Office for National Statistics? Click here.

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