London, July 16 (IANS) The number of UK workers on payrolls fell by 649,000 between March and June, data by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed on Thursday.
Additional 74,000 jobs were claimed by the coronavirus crisis last month, the Metro newspaper quoted the ONS data as saying.
There were also signs of economic inactivity rising, with people out of work not currently looking for new jobs, the Office said.
The number of hours worked has also continued to fall, reaching record lows both on the year and on the quarter, the report showed.
In May, there were around half a million people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay.
However, despite the weakening employment rates, which impacted both self-employed and part-time workers, unemployment is not rising because the increase is in numbers of people “out of work, but not currently looking for work”.
Vacancies in the UK between April and June were also at the lowest level since the Vacancy Survey began in 2001, according to the ONS.
There are estimated to be 333,000 available, which is 23 per cent lower than the previous record low in April to June 2009.
Meanwhile pay fell during the three months to May 2020, leading to pay dropping by 0.3 per cent on the year.
This equates to a fall of 1.3 per cent when taking into account inflation, the ONS said.
The number of paid employees in May also fell by 1.6 per cent, compared with the same period of the previous year.
“As the pandemic took hold, the labour market weakened markedly, but that rate of decline slowed into June, though this is before recent reports of job losses,” the Metro newspaper quoted Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, as saying.
“There are now almost two-thirds of a million fewer employees on the payroll than before the lockdown, according to the latest tax data.
“There are now almost two-thirds of a million fewer employees on the payroll than before the lockdown, according to the latest tax data.”