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UK Employee Numbers Surge Above Pre-Pandemic Level

LONDON—British employers added a record 241,000 staff last month, lifting the total number of employees on company payrolls to just above the level before Britain first went into a COVID-19 lockdown last year, official data showed on Tuesday. The robust jobs data comes as Britain’s government prepares to end its furlough programme on Sept. 30, which helped around a third of employees at its peak, and last month was still supporting around 700,000 workers full time. Tuesday’s figures mark an upturn from July’s weak economic data, when Britain’s recovery slowed to a crawl as hundreds of thousands of workers had to stay home after being notified of contact with people who had tested positive for COVID-19. British government bond yields rose after the data—with the two-year benchmark touching its highest since the start of the pandemic—as the figures revived questions about when the Bank of England might start to raise interest …

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