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Data has shown that the number of workers on UK company payrolls has risen sharply. This comes despite the end of the government’s furlough scheme, which was withdrawn on the 1st of October. A record number of people were able to move from unemployment into work just before it closed, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

 

According to ONS, 160,000 more workers were added to Britain’s employers’ payrolls in October, raising the total number for the United Kingdom to 29.3 million in the first month following the withdrawal of the furlough scheme. 

 

Having run for close to 18 months, the furlough scheme was established to give support to employers during the coronavirus pandemic. Wages were subsidised as Chancellor Rishi Sunak looked to prevent a catastrophic number of job losses as the country fell into a national lockdown, closing businesses. 

 

During those 18 months, some 11.6 million jobs were supported by the scheme as businesses looked to protect their staff while also analysing their market in unprecedented times. By July 2021 there was just 1.6 million relying on furlough, which was the last time figures were made available by HMRC. 

 

As reported in Reuters, the unemployment rate fell by more than expected to 4.3% for the three months to September, from 4.5% before, which was its lowest rate since the three months to July 2020. Further still, employment rose by 247,000 in the July-September period, more than the 185,000 which was predicted in their own poll. Those who were classed as unemployed also fell by 152,000. 

 

Data from the Office of National Statistics also showed that the number of job vacancies hit an all-time high of 1.172 million in the three months leading to October. This was up 400,000 from data retrieved before the pandemic. Areas of particular interest include the likes of care and medical jobs, who are seeing serious staff shortages. While experts have also pointed at the ‘great resignation’, something well documented amongst industry leading experts at the moment. 

 

Image Credit: Tim Gouw

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