Numbers on furlough fall to lowest level

As the economy begins to recover and business reopens, new statistics show that nearly three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March. More than half a million people left the scheme in the month of June alone, with fewer than two million people now remaining on furlough

Figures published which cover up to the end of June, show the fewest number of people on furlough since the scheme launched in March 2020, down from a peak of nearly nine million at the height of the pandemic in May 2020.

1.9 million people remained on the scheme by the end of June, more than half a million fewer than the 2.4 million at the end of May.

The ONS Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) shows numbers may have fallen even further – with estimates that between 1.1 and 1.6 million people are still on furlough.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

It’s fantastic to see businesses across the UK open, employees returning to work and the numbers of furloughed jobs falling to their lowest levels since the scheme began.

I’m proud our Plan for Jobs is working and our support will continue in the months ahead.

The figures also show a fall in the number of young people on furlough, who for the first time ever, no longer have the highest take-up of the scheme. In the last three months, younger people have moved off the scheme twice as fast as all other age brackets, with almost 600,000 under 25s moving off the scheme.

Jobs in sectors including hospitality and retail are now also moving off the scheme the fastest, – with more than a million coming off the scheme in the last three months.

Furlough was extended until the end of September to allow for businesses to adjust beyond the end of the roadmap and to bring people back to work.

Starting on 1st August 2021, employer contributions to furlough costs increase to 20% (one quarter of the 80% that must be paid) and continues until the scheme ends at the end of September 2021.

The Government’s Plan for Jobs is still in place to provide support, including Kickstart, traineeships and more work coaches to help people find jobs.

More information:

PAYadvice.UK 30/7/2021

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