Payrolled employees

Real time information about payrolled employee numbers and pay from Pay As You Earn records

The impact of COVID-19 on employment has not been fully captured in a timely way by existing labour market statistics. To provide additional information, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have produced a joint monthly release of experimental statistics based on HMRC Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records which is now one of the headline statistics in the monthly ONS labour market summary. The release includes estimates of payrolled employee numbers and median pay estimates, with breakdowns by region and subregion. From the July release onwards, data for more detailed subregions (NUTS3 areas) was released which meant that employee totals for the North East LEP area could be calculated.

The latest data for the North East LEP area shows that:

  • The number of payrolled employees in June 2021 was slightly higher (0.1%) than in the pre-Covid period (February 2020)
  • the number had decreased by about 20,500 or 2.6% between February and November 2020
  • it had then increased by about 21,500 or 2.8% between November 2020 and June 2021
  • nationally, the number of payrolled employees in June 2021 was still slightly lower than pre-Covid (by about 0.7%)
  • within the North East LEP area, the June totals were above February 2020 levels in both Northumberland and Tyneside
  • the totals were slightly lower than pre-Covid in both Sunderland and County Durham.

Statistics about the number of payrolled employees by industry and by age group are only available at national level. The latest release shows that different sectors and age groups have been subject to very different impacts from Covid-19. Between February 2020 and June 2021 :

  • UK employee numbers particularly decreased in:
    • accommodation and food services (by 236,000)
    • wholesale and retail, including the motor trade (by almost 92,000)
    • manufacturing (by over 88,000)
    • arts, entertainment and recreation (by 84,000)
  • employee numbers have increased most in:
    • health and social work (by 215,000)
    • public administration and defence (by almost 83,000)
    • administrative support services (by 48,000)
    • education (by almost 35,000)
  • within different age groups, between February 2020 and June 2021: 
    • the number of employees aged under 25 decreased by 191,000
    • the number aged 25 to 49 decreased by 148,000
    • the number of employees aged 50 plus increased by 134,000.

The latest (May 2021) median monthly pay estimate for the North East region was £1,830, which was 4.9% higher than in February 2020. This is a smaller percentage increase than for the UK as a whole( up 6.1%). The North East region's monthly pay had decreased by 3.5% between February and April 2020 before subsequently rising by 8.7% to the latest total.

Some changes in median pay may be due to structural changes in the workforce. For example, if a large number of low paid employees become unemployed, the median (middle) value of pay for the remaining workers is higher than for the original workforce even if no-one had personally received an increase in pay.

Payrolled employees, North East LEP area, monthly since January 2019

Last updated:
11/10/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021)

Data information: Experimental monthly estimates of the number of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. The North East LEP area total is based on published subregional employee counts. Seasonally adjusted data.


Payrolled employees monthly index (Jan 2020=100), North East LEP area and subregions

Last updated:
16/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021). North East LEP analysis.

Data information: Based on experimental monthly estimates of the number of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. The North East LEP area total is based on published subregional employee counts. Seasonally adjusted data.

The four subregions are NUTS3 areas within the North East LEP area. Tyneside is a combination of four local authority areas: Gateshead, Newcastle and North and South Tyneside. The other three NUTS3 areas are single local authority areas. 


Payrolled employees, % change since Feb 2020, North East LEP area and subregions, English regions

Last updated:
16/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021)

Data information: Experimental monthly estimates of the number of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. Seasonally adjusted data.

 The four subregions are NUTS3 areas within the North East LEP area. Tyneside is a combination of four local authority areas: Gateshead, Newcastle and North and South Tyneside. The other three NUTS3 areas are single local authority areas.  


Payrolled employees, change since Feb 2020, UK, by industry sector

Last updated:
16/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021)

Data information: Experimental monthly estimates of the number of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. UK data by industry sector. Seasonally adjusted data.


Payrolled employees, change since Feb 2020, UK, by age group

Last updated:
16/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021)

Data information: Experimental monthly estimates of the number of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. UK data by age group. Seasonally adjusted data.


Pay since Jan 2019, median monthly for payroll employees, North East region and subregions

Last updated:
16/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 15 Jul 2021)

Data information: Experimental monthly estimates of the number and salary of payrolled employees from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. There is no pay data for LEP areas. 

The North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. The four subregions are NUTS3 areas within the North East LEP area. Tyneside is a combination of four local authority areas: Gateshead, Newcastle and North and South Tyneside. The other three NUTS3 areas are single local authority areas.

Seasonally adjusted data.