Thursday 3 June 2021 11:07 am

Number of Brits on furlough falls by 1.3m to lowest level this year

Furlough numbers have dropped to their lowest level this year, as those needing the scheme fell to 3.4m.

Official figures published today showed that 1.3m fewer employees accessed furlough across March and April, with the biggest falls in workers aged 24 and under.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 11.5m employees have been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Today’s figures show that 2.8m individuals also benefited from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which provided over £24bn in support.

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has said the UK government is “open-minded” on the SNP’s call to extend furlough.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the job support scheme to be extended “for as long as it is needed”.

HMRC data published last month showed that the number of employees on payroll jumped by nearly 100,000 in April.

Survey results released today from the Office for National Statistics also estimates that the number of workers on furlough fell even further in May.

“These figures show the (furlough) scheme is naturally winding down as people get back to work and take advantage of the opportunities out there in the jobs market,” said Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“We’ll continue to support those who need it through to September but I am hopeful that we’ll see more people moving back in to work as we continue on the road to recovery.”

The furlough scheme will continue until the end of September to provide support beyond the end of the government roadmap.

Employers will be asked to make a ten per cent contribution towards the cost of unworked hours from July, rising to 20 per cent in August and September.