The number of employees on British company payrolls surged by the most since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data which painted a picture of a roaring jobs market and also showed growing inflation pressure from rising wages.
A day after a top Bank of England official said the time for the central bank to think about taking action to head off inflation was approaching sooner than he had thought, tax data showed a 356,000 leap in employment in June from May.
The increase was driven by a 94,000 leap in accommodation and food jobs, which were heavily hit by lockdowns that have now largely lifted, and by a 72,000 rise in jobs in administration and support services which includes temporary staff at recruitment agencies.
The headline unemployment rate for the three months to May stood at 4.8%, the Office for National Statistics said.
Economists polled by Reuters had mostly expected the unemployment rate to hold at 4.7% in the three months to April.
But the ONS said the population estimates used to calculate the unemployment rate had changed and the figure for the three…