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 sub-region.

The latest data for the North East region (which includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas) shows that:

  • The number of payrolled employees in the region in April 2021 was about 17,900 lower than in February 2020
  • the number had decreased by 17,400 in the two months to April 2020 and by a further 9,400 between April and November
  • it had then increased by about 8,800 between November 2020 and April 2021
  • North East employee numbers in April 2021 were 1.7% lower than in February 2020
  • this was a lower percentage decrease than nationally (-2.6%) and the second lowest among the nine English regions
  • between February 2020 and April 2021, employee numbers decreased by 1.8% in the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear sub-region and by 1.5% in the Tees Valley and Durham sub-region
  • these sub-regions are NUTS2 areas, a statistical geography that, unfortunately, is inconsistent with LEP areas.

Statistics about the number of payrolled employees by industry and by age group are only available at national level. The latest release states that:

  • The largest decreases in UK employee numbers between February 2020 and April 2021 were in:
    • accommodation and food services (54% of the net decrease)
    • wholesale and retail, including the motor trade (19%)
    • arts, entertainment and recreation (17%)
    • manufacturing (14%)
  • the first and third of these sectors experienced the largest percentage decreases in employee numbers (both down by about a fifth)
  • between February 2020 and April 2021, the decrease in the number of employees aged under 25 was responsible for 63% of the total net decrease across the UK
  • the number of employees aged 50 plus actually increased slightly.

The latest (April 2021) median monthly pay estimate for the North East region was £1,829, which was 0.5% higher than in the previous month and 4.8% higher than in February 2020. The pattern of monthly increases in the region since September has been similar to the pre-COVID pattern. Median pay had fallen between February and April 2020 but there had then been larger than average increases each month between May and September. The North East pattern of changes in pay was mirrored in the two sub-regions and was similar to the national picture.

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 region, monthly since January 2019

Last updated:
18/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 18 May 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 region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. Seasonally adjusted data.


Payrolled employees, % change since Feb 2020, English regions, North East sub-regions

Last updated:
18/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 18 May 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. English regions, the North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. North East sub-regions are NUTS2 areas. Seasonally adjusted data.


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

Last updated:
18/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 18 May 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 March 2020, UK, by age group

Last updated:
18/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 18 May 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

Last updated:
18/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS Earnings and employment from PAYE Real Time Information (last updated 18 May 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. The North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. The two subregions are NUTS2 areas within the North East region. Seasonally adjusted data.