Furlough number falls to 1.9m as 60% limit kicks in

Almost three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March as the economy began to recover and businesses reopened

The latest figures show that 1.9m people remained on the scheme at the end of June, more than half a million fewer than the 2.4m at the end of May.

At the end of June the fewest number of people were 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 last year.

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

The figures also show a striking fall in the number of young people on furlough, who for the first time, 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.

In the Budget the Chancellor extended the furlough scheme to the end of September although the terms of the government support were changed with employers needing to contribute a larger share of pay.

From 1 August, the employer contribution to furlough costs will increase to 20% and that contribution level will continue until the scheme ends at the end of September. This means the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.


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