Furlough scheme added 700k workers during January, HMRC reveals
There were 4.7 million workers that were furloughed across the UK in January, an increase of around 700,000 workers, new HMRC data reveals.
The data showed that furloughing of staff across all sectors increased up to 31 January, corresponding to the introduction of tighter restrictions on businesses opening that were introduced on 6 January.
The number of employments furloughed at 30 November was 3.9 million, then increased to 4.0 million at 31 December, with provisional estimates showing a further increase in January to 4.7 million employments furloughed at 31 January.
By industry, the accommodation and food services sector had the highest take-up rate on 31 December at 65 per cent of employers, with provisional estimates showing this increased to 68 per cent of employers on 31 January.
Meanwhile, 1.12 million employments were furloughed in the accommodation and food services sector on 31 December. Provisional estimates showed the number of employments furloughed increased to 1.15 million on 31 January, the highest of all sectors.
Furloughing of staff in the wholesale and retail sector peaked on 24 April at 1.85 million employments furloughed. HMRC noted this dropped to 356,400 employments furloughed at 31 October, before increasing in November and December to 714,400 at 31 December.
Provisional figures show that at 31 January, furloughing in the wholesale and retail sector had increased to 938,500 employments furloughed.
Cumulatively, 11.2 million jobs have been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) since the start of the scheme.
HMRC said the figures for eligible employments in these statistics for periods from 1 November have been amended from those included in previous releases to reflect the updated eligibility criteria for the CJRS extension.