The latest official statistics indicate that the labour market has broadly stabilised, albeit in a weaker state than compared to a year ago.
In the three months to February there were 31.2 million people in employment, a marginal decline of -14,000 on on the quarter but down more than half a million (-643,000) over the year. The employment rate is currently 75.1%, down -0.1 percentage points over the quarter and -1.4% over the year. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stood at 5.0%, down slightly on the quarter but up from 4.0% for the same period a year ago.
The number of vacancies has been slowly but steadily rising since the three months July-September 2020 and in the latest period the ONS recorded 599,000 job vacancies, though this is still some 212,000 fewer than the same period a year ago. After a sharp increase in the number of job losses during the pandemic, redundancies have eased off, and are showing at 191,000 down over the quarter. The redundancy rate is now 7.3% - more than double the rate in the three months to Feb 2020 but notably lower than last month's rate of 11.8%.