According to official statistics, furlough numbers have now fallen to the lowest level this year, with the number of people reliant on the scheme dropping to 3.4 million.
Across March and April, one million fewer people accessed the furlough scheme. The biggest falls were in the under 18s and 18 to 24 age groups.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 11.5 million employees and 1.3 million employers have been supported by the Job Retention Scheme.
New statistics also show that 2.8 million workers use the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which helped provide £24 billion in support.
Another reason to be optimistic about the future of the labour market is the continued fall of employees on furlough in early May.
Recent HMRC data has suggested that the number of payrolled employees has risen by 100,000 in April. It seems as though the government’s Plan for Jobs scheme is working to protect jobs across the UK.
The Kickstart scheme is also performing well and has created thousands of new jobs for young people and a variety of business grants and loans have helped ease the difficulties of running a business throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer has commented: “Today’s data is another welcome sign that our Plan for Jobs is working and that the route we have taken is the right one.
These figures show the scheme is naturally winding down as people get back to work and take advantage of the opportunities out there in the jobs market.
We’ll continue to support those who need it through to September, but I am hopeful that we’ll see more people moving back in to work as we continue on the road to recovery.”
The furlough scheme is set to continue until the end of September, ensuring that support is received by all beyond the end of the roadmap.
The government has decided to take a tapered approach, with employers now contributing to the salaries of employees, who are still receiving furlough.
As the economy begins to reopen and demand increases, the government will ask employers to contribute towards 10% of the cost of paying for unworked hours from July. This will increase to 20% in August and September.
This was the same approach the government successfully used last summer when the majority of employees returned to work.
With the economy continuing to recover, the government will focus on helping the economy to adapt and encouraging new opportunities, rather than keeping workers on furlough indefinitely.
This should provide a balance between supporting thousands of businesses and millions of employees, as they return to work.
Do you own a start-up or small business? Do you know how much it's worth? You can find out instantly for FREE with our online business Valuation Tool.