Figures published yesterday (29 July) show the fewest number of people 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.
1.9 million people remained on the scheme by the end of June, more than half a million fewer than the 2.4 million at the end of May.
Current estimates guess between 1.1 and 1.6 million people are still on furlough.
The figures also show a striking fall in the number of young people on furlough, who for the first time ever, 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.
Starting on 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.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“It’s fantastic to see businesses across the UK open, employees returning to work and the numbers of furloughed jobs falling to their lowest levels since the scheme began.
I’m proud our Plan for Jobs is working and our support will continue in the months ahead.”