Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Number of UK workers on Covid furlough scheme rose to 4.7m in January

UK Furlough

The number of furloughed workers in the UK rose by 700,000 to 4.7 million in January, during the third Covid lockdown, according to official figures showing employees in hospitality, women and young adults were most likely to be away from their jobs.

The figures from HM Revenue and Customs show a sharp increase from 4 million at the end of December, as the toughest measures since the first wave of the pandemic sent Britain’s economy into reverse.

The data comes days before the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announces plans for the job retention scheme at next week’s budget, amid speculation it will be extended beyond April to reflect the government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown.

With a gradual easing of controls expected from March to late June, business leaders, unions and Labour have warned that failure to extend the scheme would lead to a surge in unemployment within months. The cost of the scheme has risen to £54bn so far.

The latest snapshot indicated the heaviest impact on the jobs market was being felt in the Lake District and north-east London. More than a fifth of the local workforce was furloughed in the local authorities of South Lakeland and Eden, where tourism is key to the local economy.

There were similar rates in the London boroughs of Newham and Haringey, home to workers in hospitality and retail jobs suffering as office staff and tourists largely stay away from central areas.

Across the UK, there were 2.32 million women and 2.18 million men on furlough at the end of January, with the highest take-up rates for those aged 18 to 24. As many as 68% of firms in the accommodation and food services sector were furloughing staff, while arts, entertainment and recreation had the second highest rate at 64%.

Although the figures represent a rise from the November lockdown, when 3.9 million staff were furloughed, they suggest the latest restrictions are having less impact than during the first wave of the pandemic, when 9 million jobs were furloughed.

Charlie McCurdy, a researcher at the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said the scheme was playing a crucial role in preventing unemployment from rising further.

Official figures earlier this week showed the jobless rate increased to 5.1% in the three months to December, representing 1.74 million unemployed.

“But with almost 5 million workers still on furlough in the most recent data, our biggest labour market challenges may be ahead of, rather than behind, us,” McCurdy said.

Read more:
Number of UK workers on Covid furlough scheme rose to 4.7m in January

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



A UK-backed mission which will search for Earth-like planets orbiting alien stars has been given the green light to continue with its development after...


According to a new survey a staggering 3 out of 5 UK professionals are unhappy with their current salary. The study, which surveyed 1,500...


A mental health crisis is looming among small business owners – with 82% reporting that their mental health has already declined due to the...


One of Britain’s biggest banks has called on the “social conscience” of large businesses to encourage them to settle bills to small and medium-sized...


The UK’s deep regional divides are widening despite the government’s promises to level up the country, a think tank for the north of England...


Britons are consuming too much alcohol at home due to sessions lasting longer than pub visits, an expert said, after data suggested millions of...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...


As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.