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Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 113112, tabled on 27 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the total number of people currently in paid work, including the self-employed, compared to before the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

1 February 2022

There are different measures of people in work. The official measure, based on the Labour Force Survey, provides the broadest coverage of the self-employed. The latest available data, covering Sep-Nov ’21, is summarised in the table below.

Total (aged 16+)



Other *

Latest (Sep-Nov ’21)

32.475 million

28.128 million

4.213 million


Change since Covid-19 (Dec-Feb ’20)





* ‘Other’ includes the categories of ‘unpaid family workers’ and those stating they are employed through ‘Government supported training & employment programmes’.

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.

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