Proposed job redundancies in the UK plummeted to their lowest level in seven years in August, despite the fast approaching deadline of the government’s Covid furlough scheme.
British employers proposed 12,687 job cuts in August – down almost 80 per cent from the same time last year, when the figure stood at 57,469, according to new data from the government’s Insolvency Service.
Planned job cuts have fallen incrementally since their pandemic peak last June, when UK companies proposed over 155,000 redundancies in a month.
This trend is a good sign for the UK employment outlook, and gives an early indication that s a predicted Autumn unemployment surge may be less than expected.
A reduction in job losses saw the UK unemployment rate decrease slightly in the three months to June, averaging 4.7 per cent – 0.8 per cent higher than before the pandemic, but 0.2 per cent down from the previous quarter.
The positive August data comes despite it being the first month that companies with staff still on furlough were required to pay 20 per cent of their wages, and pension and National Insurance contributions were resumed.
As of the end of September, the government’s furlough scheme will be completely wound down, at which point employers will have to choose between paying all their staff wages or choosing to make them redundant.
According to the latest government data, there were 1.9m workers still on furlough at the end of June – many of whom experts predicted would be made redundant when the furlough scheme tapered off.