Overview

The CJRS provided support for paying the wages of staff on furlough until the scheme closed on 30 September 2021. This is the final publication in this series of official statistics releases.
The data shows that, when it closed on 30 September, the CJRS was supporting 410,000 employers who had a total of 1.16 million jobs on furlough.
These statistics provide an analysis of claims for support in paying the wages of staff on furlough up to the close of the scheme on 30 September 2021. The data used includes claims submitted to HMRC by 21 November 2021.
Claims for September 2021 could have been amended until 28 October 2021. Therefore, the data for September is considered complete, in line with the definition used in this publication series, although in a small range of specific circumstances, late claims and amendments can be made with a reasonable excuse and in agreement with HMRC.
This release of the CJRS statistics updates the material presented in previous releases and additionally contains:
  • a table of the total number of jobs on furlough since the start of the scheme by employer sector and size in tables 1c and 1d respectively of the accompanying spreadsheet
  • a table of the overall number of individuals on furlough since the start of the scheme by age and gender in table 1e of the accompanying spreadsheet
  • a table showing how long jobs have been on furlough, in table 21 of the accompanying spreadsheet
These statistics are classed as Experimental Statistics. Further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the compilation of these statistics, and the meaning of the term Experimental Statistics is provided later in this publication.

Main points

The key points from this release covering the period to 30 September 2021 are below.
since the start of the scheme, a total of 11.7 million jobs have been supported by the CJRS at various times from 1.3 million employers. This is across all claims submitted to HMRC by 21 November 2021
there have been 10.8 million individuals ever placed on furlough at any time over the lifetime of the CJRS, 5.7 million males and 5.0 million females. The remaining 0.1 million belong to individuals whose gender is not available in the data. (The number of individuals is less than the number of jobs supported. Individuals could have had more than one job with more than one employer put on furlough over the course of the CJRS)
the furlough scheme ended on 30 September 2021 with 1.16 million jobs on furlough. Over the course of the CJRS, jobs on furlough peaked at 8.9 million on 8 May 2020 then fell to 2.4 million by 31 October 2020. From November 2020 the number of jobs on furlough rose again to 5.1 million on 19 January 2021 then decreased each month until the end of the scheme
at the end of the furlough scheme on 30 September 2021, 21% of eligible employers had staff on furlough, falling from the 2021 peak of 41% in January. Between March and June 2020, 61% of eligible employers put staff on furlough
the wholesale and retail sectors had the most jobs supported by the CJRS with a total of 2.25 million jobs on furlough during the lifetime of the scheme
the passenger air transport sector had the highest take-up rate at the end of each month from 31 May 2021 to the end of the scheme. In this sector, 38% of eligible employments were on furlough at the end of the scheme. 41% of eligible employers in the sector were still claiming support when the scheme closed
employers with 250 or more employees, had the most jobs supported by the CJRS over the lifetime of the scheme (3.9 million), while employers with 20 to 49 employees had the second-highest number supported (1.5 million)
use of furlough was highest in London and near most London airports at the end of September. The take-up rates for these areas were around double the UK average of 4%
between July 2020 and April 2021, more employment was put on furlough with female job holders than male jobholders, between May and September 2021 the situation reversed. This reflects decreases in the number of jobs on furlough in sectors such as accommodation and food, which typically have higher numbers of female employees
for most of the scheme’s life, the under 25 age band were the most likely to be put on furlough. As restrictions eased from spring 2021, the level of furlough in this age band decreased faster than in other bands. By the end of the scheme, the take-up rate of furlough for employees aged under-25 was the lowest across all age bands at 3%
employments, where annual pay was estimated to be between £5,000 and £10,000, had 8% of eligible employments on furlough at 30 September, the highest proportion of any pay bracket. Based on the national minimum wage these employments are likely to be part-time
there were 329,000 employments on furlough continuously since March 2020, 28% of the total jobs on furlough at 30 September 2021

About the data in this release

The data used for this release contains all CJRS claims made by 21 November 2021.
These statistics have been developed considering user feedback and requests. Whilst this is the last release in this series, we would welcome any further feedback from users. This should be sent to CJRS.Statistics.Enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk.
We have also published a Background Quality Report (BQR) for the CJRS publications which helps users of the statistics understand their strengths and limitations.

Key limitations and revisions

The figures for September 2021 are based on claims received by 21 November 2021. This date was chosen to allow enough time for amendments to claims to be processed and to incorporate late claims as far as practicable whilst enabling the same quality assurance processes to take place in line with the previous release.
Claims for September 2021 could have been amended until 28 October 2021. Therefore, the data for September is considered complete, in line with the definition used in this publication series.
In a small range of specific circumstances, late claims and amendments can be made with a reasonable excuse and in agreement with HMRC. The volume of these claims is very low and not expected to affect the published figures substantially. Thus, the figures are not scheduled to be updated in a formal release.

Total number of jobs on furlough at any time throughout the CJRS

This section of the release presents the total number of unique jobs on furlough since the start of the scheme in March 2020 up to its closing date on 30 September 2021. It also includes figures for the total number of PAYE schemes (employers) that have been claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the total value of all claims. This data includes all claims received by 21 November 2021.
Table 1 shows that employers claimed support to put 11.7 million unique jobs on furlough under the CJRS. This is a cumulative figure and covers all jobs on furlough for at least part of the duration of the scheme since it began.
An individual employed by more than one employer is counted once for each employee from which they have been put on furlough. Two individuals who have been employed in the same role with an employer at different times are counted as two separate employments. In this release the terms ‘employments’ and ‘jobs’ are used interchangeably.
Table 1 also includes the total value of claims submitted. The figures for the number and value of claims do not take account of voluntary repayments nor remove claims not paid for compliance reasons. Claims canceled by employers within 72 hours of making the claim are excluded.
The most recent figures in table 1 are based on claims received up to 21 November 2021, the cut-off date for data collection for this report. Claims for September 2021 could have been amended until 28 October 2021. Therefore, the data for September is considered to be complete. In a small range of specific circumstances, late claims and amendments can be made with a reasonable excuse and in agreement with HMRC.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics: 16 December 2021  GOV.UK

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