Employment in Leeds rose above pre-pandemic levels last month as thousands of workers joined company payrolls, figures show.
But with the number of job vacancies across the UK hitting a record high, employers fear staff shortages could stall future growth following the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Office for National Statistics data shows an estimated 353,831 people in Leeds were on company payrolls in July – 3,016 (one per cent) more than in June.
The increase moves the figure above the 353,371 recorded in February last year – the month before the UK was plunged into its first Covid-19 lockdown.
The data also showed the median monthly salary for payrolled workers in the area rose from £1,828 in February last year to £1,944 in July this year – a £116 increase. Across the UK, the number of payrolled workers increased by 182,000 between June and July to 28.9 million – but this was still 201,000 fewer than in February last year.
The ONS cautioned the payroll figures, which do not include the self-employed, are early estimates which can be revised in future months.
The Confederation of British Industry said they showed signs of recovery but added increased demand for workers was creating a new problem for companies. The number of vacancies across the UK reached almost 1 million in the three months to the end of July – the highest estimated quarterly figure since records began in 2001.