The number of planned redundancies in the UK has drastically fallen since the furlough extension was announced, according to data obtained by the BBC from the government agency, Insolvency Service.
While the number hit a peak of 156,000 in June, it had since deflated to just 36,700 by November – the lowest number of planned redundancies since Covid-19 lockdowns began.
Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at the Capital Economics consultancy, said, via the BBC, that although the latest figures are up 32% on the same point last year, they provide “encouragement that there will be a steady trickle, rather than a tsunami, of job losses over the next few months”.
He added that the chancellor’s decision to extend the furlough support scheme until 30 April has “minimised the labour market damage” from the pandemic to this point.
However, November has not seen workforces go unscathed, with 550 employers notifying the government of plans to cut 20 jobs or more, a rise of 80% from 2019’s figures.
Furthermore, ONS data has revealed that redundancies between August and October rose at a record level to hit 370,000.
A government spokesperson acknowledged the continued severity of the situation, before highlighting that the state’s support package is “among the most generous in the world”.
They told the BBC: “We understand the pressure businesses and individuals are currently under which is why we’re helping them through the pandemic with a £280bn support package, which is among the most generous in the world.”