Record rise in workers on payrolls Office for National Statistics (ONS) data show that May saw a record rise in the number of workers on payrolls, with the 28.5m total 197,000 higher than that recorded in April. This marks the steepest climb since records began in 2014. ONS figures also show that the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in the three months to April, down from the 4.8% seen in the three months to March. Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, noted that while the number of employees on payrolls “grew strongly” last month, it remains 553,000 down on pre-pandemic levels. He went on to say that early estimates suggest the job vacancy rate has surpassed the level recorded before the pandemic hit, while the redundancy rate remains “subdued” and the number of employees on furlough has continued to decline.