Interactive Investor

interactive investor comments on latest furlough scheme data

6th May 2021 19:02

Myron Jobson from interactive investor


Share on

4.2 million workers are still on the scheme, according to the latest figures.

Commenting on the latest statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) published by HMRC this morning, Myron Jobson, Personal Finance Campaigner, interactive investor, says: “The latest unemployment data shows that the furlough scheme has worked, and continues to do so.

“While society has started to reopen, UK plc is still reeling from the damage done to its cashflow by a year of Covid restrictions. With 4.2 million workers still on the scheme according to latest figures, the greatest challenge for the job market may be yet to come.

“The extension of the furlough scheme has been instrumental in keeping a lid on rising unemployment. The hope is that the labour market will be in a much better position to prevent a surge in unemployment once the scheme comes to an end on 30 September.

“The financial cost of the scheme is likely to be significant, and it will be taxpayers who foot the bill further down the line. However, from purely an employment standpoint, it may just be a price worth paying.”

Key points:

  • Provisional figures show there has been a decrease in levels of furlough between February and March 2021 with 4.2 million employments on furlough at 31 March 2021.
  • Since the start of the scheme a cumulative total of 11.5 million jobs have been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at various times. This is across all claims submitted to HMRC by 14 April 2021.
  • The levels of furlough seen in these figures reflect the changes to restrictions on individuals, households and businesses across the UK since the autumn.
  • At 28 February, 41% of employers had staff on furlough. Provisional estimates show that this decreased to 39% of employers at 31 March 2021. 16% of employments eligible for furlough were on furlough at 28 February. Provisional estimates show this decreased to 14% at 31 March 2021.
  • Provisional figures show that all sectors saw a reduction in levels of furlough between 28 February and 31 March 2021.
  • The accommodation and food services sector had the highest take-up rate at 28 February at 70% of eligible employers putting staff on furlough. Provisional estimates show this decreased to 67% of employers at 31 March 2021. 1.19 million employments were on furlough in this sector on 28 February, with provisional figures showing this decreased to 1.06 million on 31 March 2021.


These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

Get more news and expert articles direct to your inbox

Sign up for a free research account to get the latest news and discussion, and create your own virtual portfolio.

Free Sign Up