A Closer Look

COVID and Furloughed Workers in UK – Millions have returned to work but …

This morning, HMRC published its latest round of statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS). For the first time, we have a time series of the number of furloughed workers, as opposed to the cumulative total, meaning we can see how use of the scheme has evolved since the start of April. Here are some key takeaways from this morning’s data.

Finally, a measure of changing take-up

HMRC has been publishing statistics every month since May, showing the cumulative number of furloughed workers, with helpful sectoral and other breakdowns. In the early stages of the crisis, this data underlined the scale of both the economic hit and the policy response, with the cumulative number of furloughs reaching 8.7 million by the end of May.

But as have we moved past the peak of the initial phase of the crisis, this cumulative measure has become increasingly unhelpful. It didn’t tell us whether the number of furloughed workers was falling, or by how much. For that reason, we have turned to Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveys of businesses and workers, which showed that the number of workers on full furlough had been falling since May, and may have been around half its peak by early August. (See the non-black lines in the chart below).

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Millions of furloughed workers have returned to work – but support for hard-hit sectors will be needed beyond October • Resolution Foundation


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