The number of Brits on furlough in early June fell to its lowest since the start of the pandemic as easing Covid restrictions allowed most businesses to reopen.
Six per cent of staff, or around 1.5m people, are still on furlough, a large drop from the 3.4m who used the scheme across March and April.
Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) represents a one per cent fall from the seven per cent of staff on furlough in late May.
This is far below the peak of nearly 9m recorded in May 2020, during the depths of Britain’s first lockdown.
The latest data will add to many economists’ confidence that the end of the programme on 30 September will not spark a jump in unemployment.
The total volume of UK online jobs adverts on 18 June had increased by two per cent compared to a week earlier, according to job search engine Adzuna.
The total volume remained above pre-pandemic levels at 129 per cent of its February 2020 average.
There were weekly increases in job advert volumes in the legal and graduate categories, which saw a seven per cent and six per cent jump respectively.
The largest weekly falls were in the wholesale and retail sectors, which fell by four per cent and three per cent respectively.