The latest ONS labour market figures were strong. Payroll employment jumped by 356,000 in June, the biggest rise since the start of the pandemic. Vacancies are now above their pre-pandemic level at 862,000.
The recovery is churning out new jobs at a prolific rate, but it is not yet complete. Hours worked and employment remain below pre-crisis levels and the labour market still needs to absorb more than a million workers still on furlough as the scheme is unwound.
Moreover, long-term unemployment continues to rise, increasing fastest among older workers. In addition to sustained jobs growth, many of those workers displaced by the pandemic need more support and retraining opportunities to help them get back into work.
But overall, the labour market’s progress is encouraging. With the redundancy rate having dropped to pre-pandemic levels, hopes are rising that a large spike in unemployment can be avoided when furlough ceases at the end of September.