THE number of job vacancies surged past one million for the first time ever in July as the country came out of lockdown.

The rate of unemployment stayed level at 4.7% in the three months to June, official jobs data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

And there were no signs of an increase in redundancies as the furlough scheme began winding down, according to the official jobs data.

Unemployment surged to a five year high of 5.1% in February, when the number of jobless Brits at 1.74million.

There were 182,000 Brits added to payrolls between June and July as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Jonathan Athow , ONS deputy national statistician said: "As large parts of the economy started to reopen in recent months, the number of hours worked went past one billion a week for the first time since the pandemic."

"The world of work continues to rebound robustly from the effects of the pandemic.

"The number of people on payroll was up again strongly and has now grown over half a million in the past three months, regaining about four-fifths of the fall seen at the start of the pandemic."

The furlough job support scheme which has supported Brits unable to work because of the pandemic will come to an end in September.

There are now 1.9million still having their wages paid by the government but that's down from 3million at the end of March.

One million jobs may still be at risk as companies continue to struggle because of Covid despite restrictions lifting, researchers say.

Data released last week shows the economy grew by 1% in June despite the delay to Freedom Day when most lockdown restrictions ended.

Mims Davies, the minister for employment, said: "There are positive signs of recovery in today’s jobs figures with the number of young people and older workers on payrolls up on the quarter and the employment rate increasing to 75.1%."

"There is still work to do and we’re focused on helping employers fill roles through our Plan for Jobs – giving people of all ages the skills, support and experience needed to confidently land that next opportunity."

The Bank o England has warned that the country is likely to experience price rises in the run up to Christmas, with inflation set to rise to 4% – well above its 2% target.

Inflation data released tomorrow (August 18) is expected to show that prices are rising at a rate of 2.6% in July.

More to follow…

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