Covid live: ‘record-breaking’ numbers get booster jabs in England; arrests in Netherlands after lockdown protests

Still in the UK, new research suggests that workers who were furloughed are six times more likely to have lost their jobs than other employees.

But the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is likely to have led to only a small increase in the number of people not working, said the Resolution Foundation, PA reports.

Its study among 6,100 adults indicated that around 136,000 workers moved from furlough to either unemployment or inactivity.

The think tank’s research showed that almost nine out of 10 workers who were furloughed in September were employed in October, while 12% moved into either unemployment or inactivity.

The Foundation said its study showed the Government was right to extend the JRS to the end of September, adding that the biggest economic contraction in a century has led to one of the smallest recession-led rises in unemployment.

Charlie McCurdy, economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “During its 18-month duration the Job Retention Scheme has supported over 11 million employees, preventing lockdowns and huge behavioural changes causing catastrophic rises in unemployment.

“Plans to prematurely close the scheme led to concerns that its end would spark a fresh rise in worklessness, but extending the scheme to beyond the reopening of the economy this summer has helped to limit this rise to just 136,000 workers.

“While it is welcome that unemployment has remained low, recently furloughed staff did face a much higher risk of losing their job in October.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The furlough scheme was a lifeline for people all over the UK, providing support to more than 11 million workers during the toughest of economic times.

“The economy has reopened and, as planned, millions of workers have moved off the scheme and back into work, with two million fewer people unemployed than expected.

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