UK employment used to be estimated at a file prime within the 3 months to February, sooner than the results of the coronavirus lockdown began to hit the economic system.
Reliable figures confirmed 76.6% of other folks elderly 16 to 64 have been in paid paintings, up from 76.4% within the earlier quarter.
Unemployment used to be estimated at 4%, up somewhat at the final quarter, the Office for National Statistics said.
Alternatively, early estimates for March confirmed a slight drop within the choice of paid staff in comparison with February.
The figures fell by way of 0.06%, despite the fact that they have been nonetheless 0.8% upper than the similar duration final yr.
Pay in February persevered to develop quicker than inflation, however its price of expansion has slowed for the reason that heart of final yr. The estimated expansion for pay with the exception of bonuses within the three-month duration used to be 2.9%.
There have been an estimated 33.07 million other folks in employment, 352,000 greater than a yr previous.
David Freeman, ONS head of labour marketplace statistics, stated: “Our ultimate knowledge wholly from sooner than the coronavirus restrictions have been in position, confirmed the labour marketplace used to be very tough within the 3 months to February.
“For the primary time, now we have introduced ahead data at the choice of staff in paintings the usage of PAYE knowledge to hide a more moderen duration.
“Those experimental statistics display a softening image in March, however quilt the month as an entire, together with the duration sooner than the coronavirus restrictions have been in position.”
Subsequent month’s figures are anticipated to mirror the fast downturn within the economic system for the reason that lockdown started.
Yael Selfin, leader economist at KPMG, stated: “The most recent figures masks the level of the upward push in unemployment anticipated this yr.
“We estimate that as many as 13 million jobs are in sectors extremely suffering from the lockdown, representing 36% of all jobs in the United Kingdom, which might see unemployment emerging to simply below 9% all through the lockdown duration.
“An extra spike in unemployment after the lockdown additionally turns out most likely, as soon as govt improve by the use of the Process Retention Scheme ends.”
Paul Dales, leader UK economist at Capital Economics, stated the figures weren’t “very helpful” as they predated the lockdown, despite the fact that the slight drop in paid staff estimated for March advised a “small crack within the labour marketplace”.
Alternatively, he stated that total, “there is no longer a lot right here to let us know precisely how unhealthy the fallout within the labour marketplace goes to be”.
Reflecting at the early March estimates, Howard Archer, leader financial adviser to the EY Merchandise Membership, stated: “The labour marketplace deteriorated markedly not up to were anticipated in March.”
“The choice of staff claiming advantages rose a modest 12.100. Importantly, despite the fact that, the claims knowledge used to be in keeping with the location at 12 March, and there appears to had been a considerable pick-up since then particularly when the lockdown used to be imposed on 23 March.”