Latest ONS data on employment (March-May 2020)

Date Posted: Thursday 16th July 2020

Covid-19EmploymentSelf Employment

We have analysed the data released by the Office for National Statistics and HMRC for March to May which includes the first Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme published sex- and age-disaggregated figures.

Read our short note on what has changed in terms of employment for women and men.

What the data shows:


  • Employment reduced but unemployment remains flat (credit to government’s support schemes but more people inactive)
  • Largest decrease ever in weekly hours worked (women’s FT hours decreased at higher rate)
  • ‘Economically inactive’ increased (driven by men)
  • Pay fell in May (1.3% in real terms) (early indicators found it recovered in June)
  • Record fall in number of job vacancies (lowest Apr-May since records began in 2001)
  • 650,000 fewer employees in June (experimental PAYE stats)
  • CJRS (furlough scheme) – men more likely to be furloughed than women (except 16-21 age group)
  • SEISS – fewer eligible self-employed women claiming and for less


Updated version on 18.07.2020 corrected % decrease of women’s FT hours to 15% (previous version 21%)