UK labour market Feb 2021 - Release 7

labour market

Nationally, across all industry sectors since February 2020, the number of payroll employees has fallen by 726,000. However, the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with the latest two months recording small increases. Analysis by age band shows that the 18 to 24 years age group has seen the greatest decrease in pay rolled employees since February 2020.

The redundancy rate in the ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Vehicles and Motorcycles’ sector is currently 15.6%, which has fallen in the past month by 3.4%. It is also 3.3 percentage points higher than the ‘All Industries’ rate. It has the 6th highest rate of the 14 outlined industries.

Unemployment levels in the sector have increased by 0.7% in the past month and are 30% higher compared to the same period last year. Of those unemployed whose last job was in ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycle’, 52.3% (110,000) are men and 47.7% (100,000) are women.  In the past month, unemployment for men has increased but has decreased for women. However, these remain at similar levels.

Total hours continues to show signs of recovery, but increases have slowed. Between July to September 2020 and October to December 2020, total actual weekly hours worked in the UK saw an increase of 53.7 million, or 5.8%, to 978.7 million hours. Since the record low from April to June 2020, average hours worked have been increasing month on month. However, both ‘All Sectors’ and ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycle’ fell this month by 4%.

Sector average earnings are £119 (18%) lower than the average for all jobs. Average earnings for all jobs increased by 0.1% in the last quarter. Sector average earnings increased by 1% in the last quarter and 11% compared to the same period the year before. The average earnings for a woman in the sector is £61 (12%) lower than men, a margin that has increased by 2% in the past quarter. 

In real terms, total pay is now growing at a faster rate than inflation, at a positive 3.8%, and regular pay growth in real terms is also positive, at 3.3%. Between October to December 2019 and October to December 2020, average pay growth varied by industry sector, however, all sectors saw positive growth.

For November – January 2021, there were an estimated 10,000 vacancies in the Motor Trades sub sector; this is an increase of 11% since last month and more than 5 times more than the record low levels from April – June 2020. The motor trade vacancies ratio is 1.8 which is 0.2 or 10% lower than the all vacancy rate.

Feb 2021