Last reviewed 12 August 2021

According to the Treasury, almost three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March as the economy has begun to bounce back and businesses have reopened.

Furlough was extended until the end of September to allow for businesses to adjust beyond the end of the roadmap and to bring people back to work.

The latest figures, which cover up to the end of June, show the fewest number of people on furlough since the scheme launched in March last year, down from a peak of nearly nine million at the height of the pandemic in May 2020.

By the end of June, 1.9 million people remained on the scheme, more than half a million fewer than the 2.4 million at the end of May.

The latest Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that numbers may actually have fallen even further — with estimates that 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.

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.

Chancellor 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.”

Starting on 1 August, the employer contribution to furlough costs will increase to 20% and that contribution level will continue until the scheme closes at the end of September.

From 1 August, the Government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.