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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-august-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-august-2020
This is the third release of Official Statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It provides analysis of claims for periods up to 30 June – the last day before the introduction of flexible furloughing. The data used includes claims submitted to HMRC by 31 July 2020 (the final date for CJRS claims for the period to 30 June 2020).
We will publish more CJRS statistics in future months. These statistics are Experimental Statistics and are subject to revision.
Some of the figures in this release have been revised since the July release reflecting improvements in data completeness and methods. Further information is provided later in the release.
The government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20 March 2020. CJRS supports employers through the COVID-19 period. Employers are able to claim CJRS support for employees furloughed from 1 March 2020. Up to 30 June 2020, CJRS provides employers with financial support of up to 80% of their employees’ salary. This support is capped at £2,500 per month per employee. Employers may also claim Employer National Insurance and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions. CJRS changed from 1 July 2020, after the period covered by this release.
For queries or feedback on this publication, please contact:
For press queries, please contact:
- Dan Allen, tel: 03000 585 024
- Lisa Billard, tel: 07773 091 264
The next release will be published on 18 September 2020.
The key points from this release covering the period to 30 June 2020 are below. Claims data for later periods is incomplete and statistics for claims for July onwards will be included in a future publication.
This release adds figures showing how the number of employments furloughed changed over time and a more detailed industry breakdown.
- an additional 228,000 employments have been claimed for under CJRS since the July CJRS statistics
- in total, 9.6 million employments have been furloughed through CJRS (32% of eligible employments) for at least part of the period between March to June. These claims have been made by 1.16 million employers, with 61% of eligible employers claiming
- 73% of employers with more than 250 employments have made at least one claim, but have furloughed 21% of their employments
- the accommodation and food services sector has had the highest furlough rate of 77%
- the wholesale and retail sector furloughed the highest number of employments, at over 1.9 million
- there has been broad consistency in furlough rates across the nations of the UK The West Midlands region of England has the highest take-up rate of 34% against the UK average of 32%
- men have been furloughed at a higher rate than women: 34% and 29% respectively
- the number of employments furloughed peaked at 8.9 million on 8 May, then reduced to 6.8 million by 30 June. This peak is lower than the 9.6 million mentioned above since furloughed staff have been furloughed for different periods (and not all at the same time)
About the data in this release
The data used in this release comprises the CJRS claims made up to 31 July 2020. Where possible, this data has been matched with other HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data to present the following breakdowns of CJRS claims by:
- employer size
- sector of the economy
- sector of the economy by country and region
- age and gender
- number of employments furloughed by day
- more detailed sectoral breakdown
These statistics have been produced using data from both the CJRS and HMRC’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) system. Following user feedback, we have incorporated details of the number of employments furloughed each day up to the end of June and a more detailed sectoral breakdown. We would welcome any further feedback from users. This should be sent to CJRS.Statistics.Enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk. User responses will then be taken into consideration when developing future releases.
Apart from the time series of employments per day, the information published here is cumulative to the end of June. The number of employments furloughed in July and later will be lower.
For these statistics, an ‘employer’ is defined as a PAYE scheme, and ‘employments’ are defined according to the CJRS criteria; further details are within the background section.
Improvements to the data completeness and methodology used since the previous releases have reduced the proportion of cases reported as ‘unknown’ since the previous release. As per previous releases, where we have been unable to match the CJRS claims with other HMRC data, we have denoted this as ‘unknown’ in the tables within this release.
The reported overall increases in both the number of employments furloughed and the furloughing take-up rate since July’s release result in part from improved CJRS data matching to HMRC internal data, along with an increase in the number of claims received.
The release reports a CJRS take-up rate for both employers and employments, where appropriate. The take-up rate has been calculated using PAYE RTI data, to estimate the eligible population of both employers and employments. An individual with employments with more than one employer is counted once for each employment furloughed.
Rounding has been applied to the figures in this release, with counts rounded to the nearest 100 and amounts to the nearest million.
Claims made under the CJRS up to 31 July have supported 9.6 million employments claimed by 1.16 million employers. Where it has been possible to match CJRS data to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI), we have estimated the size of each employer in terms of number of employees potentially eligible for CJRS support.
For this data, we have assumed that PAYE scheme is the equivalent to an employer. For some employers, this is not an exact one-to-one equivalent. For example, some organisations operate multiple payrolls for different groups of employees and in other situations, a group of companies may pool their payrolls together under one PAYE scheme. However, in our view PAYE schemes provides a reasonable proxy for employers for the purposes of this release. The employer size has been calculated based on an estimate of the number of employments eligible to be furloughed. Since the July release we have improved the estimates of employer sizes in terms of the number of eligible employees. This has resulted in some reallocations between size bands and also substantially reduced the number of employers in the ‘unknown’ size category.
The key points to note from tables 1a and 1b are:
- the figures now show a further 228,000 employments furloughed under CJRS since our July release and 22,000 additional employers placing at least one employment on furlough, who have not previously claimed - this reflects the additional claims employers have submitted
- 61% of employers had made a claim under CJRS and 32% of employments had been furloughed, in comparison to 60% and 31% respectively in July’s release
- employers with 10 to 19 employees have the highest take-up rate, with 81% employers of this size furloughing at least one employee
- employees of small and micro-sized employers were more likely to have been furloughed than those working for medium-sized and large employers: 57% of employments at employers with 5 to 9 employees had been furloughed against just 21% at employers with 250 or more employees
- employers with 250 or more employees have furloughed 3.6 million employments - however, this represents only a take-up rate of 21%
- while 312,000 employers with one employee have made claims valued up to £772 million through CJRS
Table 1a: CJRS claims by employer size – employer level
|Employer size||Employers furloughing staff||Take-up rate||Value of claims made (£ millions)|
|2 to 4||436,700||65%||2,503|
|5 to 9||189,600||78%||2,654|
|10 to 19||110,700||81%||3,110|
|20 to 49||69,500||79%||4,079|
|50 to 99||22,800||78%||2,696|
|100 to 249||13,200||76%||3,086|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information data
Table 1b: CJRS claims by employer size – employment level
|Employer size||Employments furloughed||Eligible employments||Take-up rate|
|2 to 4||937,400||1,683,200||56%|
|5 to 9||888,100||1,547,700||57%|
|10 to 19||969,700||1,792,800||54%|
|20 to 49||1,184,500||2,615,400||45%|
|50 to 99||758,700||1,977,500||38%|
|100 to 249||861,300||2,607,100||33%|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information data
Note: the number of employments furloughed in the unknown size category is not directly comparable with the number of employers in the equivalent category in table 1a.
This section presents analysis of CJRS claims according to the primary economic sector of employers’ activity. The take-up rate is also reported in this table for both employments and employers. This is presented in Table 2a and 2b, below. Key points from these tables are:
- the accommodation and food services sector has seen 77% take-up rate in terms of employments, with over £4.7 billion claimed through CJRS. With 87% of employers in this sector furloughing at least one employment
- wholesale and retail employers have claimed £6 billion through CJRS, with an employment furloughed take-up rate of 42%
- arts, entertainment, recreation and other services, has seen 76% of employers in this sector furlough at least one employment. With a total of 474,000 employments furloughed in this sector with a take-up rate of 70% claiming £1.3 billion in total
- not all sectors have seen as high rates of furloughing, with the professional, scientific and technical sector and business administration and support services sector having furlough rates of 29% and 32% respectively
More details on this are available in the methodology section.
Table 2a: CJRS claims including take-up rates by sector (SIC 2007) – employer level
|Sector||Employers furloughing||Take-up rate||Total value of claims made (£ millions)|
|Agriculture, forestry & fishing||9,700||29%||96|
|Mining, quarrying & utilities||600||54%||77|
|Waste and Recycling||4,000||72%||168|
|Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles||178,600||74%||6,071|
|Transport & storage (inc postal)||43,100||60%||1,680|
|Accommodation & food services||110,700||87%||4,773|
|Information & communication||59,400||38%||843|
|Finance & insurance||14,500||42%||276|
|Professional, scientific & technical||150,900||49%||2,203|
|Business administration and support services||102,000||62%||2,806|
|Public administration & defence||500||7%||65|
|Arts, entertainment, recreation and other services||30,100||76%||1,339|
|Trade union, religious, political and repair||71,200||77%||893|
|Unknown and other||23,300||-||239|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information data and Inter-Departmental Business Register
Table 2b: CJRS claims including take-up rates by sector (SIC 2007) – employment level
|Sector||Employments furloughed||Take-up rate|
|Agriculture, forestry & fishing||36,600||20%|
|Mining, quarrying & utilities||14,800||28%|
|Waste and Recycling||43,700||25%|
|Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles||1,906,100||42%|
|Transport & storage (inc postal)||424,100||32%|
|Accommodation & food services||1,693,600||77%|
|Information & communication||227,500||18%|
|Finance & insurance||76,800||7%|
|Professional, scientific & technical||632,900||29%|
|Business administration and support services||890,500||32%|
|Public administration & defence||20,400||2%|
|Arts, entertainment, recreation and other services||474,300||70%|
|Trade union, religious, political and repair||315,000||55%|
|Unknown and other||101,300||-|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information data and Inter-Departmental Business Register
CJRS claims by detailed sector (3-digit SIC2007)
Following user feedback included within the accompanying spreadsheet is more detailed sectoral breakdown of cumulative CJRS claims. A number of these more detailed sectors have been banded together to prevent the release of potentially disclosive information.
A few key points to note from this data are:
- 80% of eligible employments within the sale of motor vehicles sector have been furloughed for at least one period of time, amounting to over 184,000 employments furloughed, with £780 million claimed
- retail sale in non-specialised stores has a take-up rate of just 9%, out of a possible 1.29 million employments eligible to be furloughed
- the restaurants and mobile food service activities sector has claimed over £2 billion in support through CJRS for furloughing up to the end of June, with 77% of employments furloughed at least once
- beverage serving activities has seen 96% of employers making use of the scheme, with over 419,000 employments furloughed, and a take-up rate of 85%
- in the pre-primary education sector 77% of employers have furloughed at least one employment with a total of 34,900 employments furloughed under the scheme and a take-up rate of 62%
- 87% of furniture manufacturers furloughed at least one employment, with 62,600 employments furloughed in total, a sector take-up rate of 77% of employments
Geography – countries and regions
We also provide geographic breakdown of CJRS claims based on the residential address information that HMRC holds for employees. This does not directly translate to the employee’s usual place of work, or employer’s centre of operations which may be in a different region. For example, an employee who lives in Wales and normally commutes daily to work in Bristol would be included within the count for Wales, rather than for South West England.
Figure 1 shows the number of furloughed employments by each of the English regions, and the totals for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For some employments it has not been possible so far to link the employment to the employees’ area of residence and these are included in the unknown category.
The key points from this figure are:
- London and the South East account for over 2.6 million of the furloughed employments
- the East Midlands and West Midlands have a total of over 1.5 million employments furloughed under CJRS
- Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combined have over 1.4 million employments claimed for under CJRS
Figure 1: CJRS Furloughed employments by region and country
|Yorkshire And The Humber||749,700|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information
Figure 2 shows the take-up rate of employments furloughed within each country and region using CJRS. The key points to note from figure 2 are:
- the employment furloughed take-up rate ranges from 30% in the South East and East of England, to 34% in the West Midlands
- this shows an increase in furlough rates across the each of the regions since July’s release. This is due in part to data matching improvements resulting in a reduction in the unknown category
Figure 2: Employment furlough take-up rate by Country and Region
|Yorkshire And The Humber||31.2%|
Source: HMRC CJRS and PAYE Real Time Information
The data for both figures 1 and 2 can be accessed from the spreadsheet accompanying this bulletin.
Geography – local authorities and Parliamentary Constituencies
Accompanying this release is a separate file providing counts of the number of furloughed employments by Local Authority and UK Parliamentary Constituency based on each employee’s residential address. In line with the rest of the release we also report the CJRS take-up rate employments in each local authority and constituency that have been furloughed at least once during CJRS’s operation. In figures 3 and 4 we present maps representing the take-up rates for employments furloughed for both the local authorities and UK Parliamentary Constituencies. With a darker shade of green indicating a higher take-up rate in both maps.
The key points to note here for local authorities are:
- South Lakeland has had the highest employment take-up rate, with a rate of 42% of employments furloughed, followed by both Eden, and Crawley at 41%
- Boston in Lincolnshire was the local authority with the lowest proportion of employments furloughed at 21%, followed by South Holland in Lincolnshire with a take-up rate of 24%
- Birmingham has had the highest number of employments furloughed, with 156,200, followed by Leeds with 111,500 employments furloughed. The take-up rates in these local authority areas are 35% and 30% respectively
- in Scotland, Glasgow City has had 92,900 employments furloughed – a take-up rate of 34% of employments, while the City of Edinburgh has an employment furlough take-up rate of 30%, with over 75,000 employments furloughed
- for Northern Ireland, Mid Ulster has had the highest take-up rate with 36% of employments furloughed, while Belfast has a take-up rate of 30%, with over 44,100 employments furloughed
- in Wales, Gwynedd has had the highest rate employment furloughed take-up rate of 36%, while Cardiff has had the highest number of employments furloughed with 46,800 employments furloughed
Figure 3: Employment furlough take-up rate by local authority
The key points to note here for UK Parliamentary Constituencies are:
- the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency in the North West of England has had the highest take-up rate, with 45% of employments furloughed for at least one period
- the Tottenham, and Feltham and Heston constituencies in London had the two next highest take-up rates with approaching 42% of eligible employments furloughed under CJRS
- the rate of furloughed employments was lowest in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency at 22%, followed by Sheffield Hallam constituency with at take-up rate of 23%
- the West Ham constituency has had the highest number of employments furloughed, with over 37,000. Eight of the ten constituencies with the highest number of furloughed employments fall within the Greater London area
- the Mid Ulster constituency has the highest take-up rate in Northern Ireland with 38% of eligible employments furloughed for at least one period, amounting to 16,800 employees
- Glasgow East and Glasgow South West constituencies have the highest take-up rates in Scotland, both with a take-up rate of 37%
Figure 4: Employment furlough take-up rate by UK Parliamentary Constituency
Sector of the economy by country and region
The spreadsheet file accompanying this release presents analysis that additionally provides a sector breakdown of the figures for employments furloughed in each country and region. Moreover, the proportion of the workforce furloughed in each area and sector is shown. The analysis is based on where employees live rather than where they work.
The key points to note:
- in Northern Ireland 71% of eligible employments in Construction have been furloughed, while in Scotland 73% have been furloughed. This compares to 60% across the UK as a whole and 58% in England
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing has seen relatively low take-up rates across the UK, with a take-up rate of 21% in England, 19% in Northern Ireland, 17% in Scotland and 22% in Wales
- in London 69% of employments in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other services sector have been furloughed. Wales, the North East and the South West the highest take-up rates in this sector at 77%, 76% and 72% respectively
- across all countries and regions of the UK at least 75% of employments in Accommodation and food services have been furloughed through CJRS for at least one period
Demographics – age and gender breakdown
This section of the release describes the employments furloughed by employees’ age and gender. This breakdown is based on the most up-to-date demographic information that HMRC holds on the individuals for whom claims have been made. The age of employees is calculated as at 1 March 2020. The key points to note from figure 5 are:
- employees aged 17 were most likely to be furloughed. 65% of employments with a female employee aged 17 were furloughed, the equivalent figure for males was 62%
- at age 22 and above, females were less likely to be furloughed than males. In part this reflects the sectors that men and women tend to work in, for example, relatively more women work in the education and health sectors which have experienced a relatively low level of furloughing
- across the age bands and by gender, employments with male employees aged 41 to 54 were least likely to be furloughed (30%), while for females, employments where the employees were aged 43 to 56 were the least likely to be furloughed (24%)
- employees aged in their 60s and above were more likely to be furloughed than those in their 40s and 50s
- in absolute terms more employments with male employees have been furloughed (5.1 million) than with employments with female employees (4.5 million)
Figure 5: Employment furlough take-up rate by age and gender
Number of employments furloughed over time
This section of the release presents the number of employments furloughed per day since the inception of the scheme up until 30 June 2020. It is worth noting that back dated claims could be made for CJRS before announcement of the scheme, therefore the series starts before the scheme was announced. In a difference to the rest of the breakdowns presented in this release, the time series relies purely on claims level data, which means that for an employment to be included within the time series it did not need to be matched other HMRC data. More details on the approach can be found in the methodology section below. The method used to calculate the time series is provisional and some small revisions may be made to the series in the next release. Claims for staff furloughed in July have a deadline of end November, consequently the data was not complete enough to include a time series beyond June in this release.
The figures show the total number of employments furloughed by day. Some employees have moved on and off furlough over time. Because not all furloughed employments have been furloughed at the same time, the peak figures in the time series are lower than the figures for the total number of employments furloughed at any time – as reported above.
Where there is an observed reduction in the number of employments furloughed, we make no comment on whether that employment has returned to work or has resulted in the ending of that employment. Therefore, the data presented here should be interpreted as such.
The key points to note from this figure are:
- initially the number of employments furloughed increased quickly following the announcement of the scheme, reaching 4.8 million on 23 March and 6.8 million by the end of March
- following further strong growth at the start of April the number of employments furloughed increased gradually peaking at 8.9 million on 8 May 2020
- after the early May peak, the number of employments furloughed decreased slowly before a fall of around 670,000 employments at the start of June
- the number of employments that were furloughed then continued reduce throughout June to 6.8 million on 30 June
Figure 6: Total employments furloughed, 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020
Employments furloughed over time by industry
We also provide additional break downs of this series by employer size and sector of the economy within the accompanying tables and charts below. The key points to note from this are:
- furloughing of staff in the wholesale and retail sector peaked on 24 April at 1.84 million employments. By 1 June 2020 there had been a net decrease of 361,000 in this sector dropping further to 1.32 million employments furloughed by 30 June
- accommodation and food services peaked at 1.6 million employments furloughed on 10 April, with a net decline of 319,000 employments to 1.3 million furloughed by 30 June
- the manufacturing sector had a peak of 908,200 employments furloughed on 17 April, this reduced to 582,600 by 30 June
- in construction, furloughing peaked on 14 April with 721,000 employments furloughed, with this falling to 403,000 employments on 30 June. This is net decrease of 318,000
- furloughing in arts and entertainment sector peaked later than other sectors on 15 May 2020 with 461,000 employments furloughed on that date. To 30 June there was been a net decrease of 62,000 employments furloughed in this sector
Figure 7: Total employments furloughed by industry (millions) (largest 15 sectors), 23 March to 30 June 2020
Employments furloughed over time by employer size
In addition to the sectoral breakdown we also provide a breakdown of the number of employments furloughed per day by employer size. The employer size has been calculated based on an estimate of the number of employments eligible to be furloughed. As with the cumulative employer size breakdown, we assume a PAYE scheme to be equivalent of an employer.
Presented in figure 8 below is a set of small charts, one for each employer size band. The underlying data for these charts can be found in the accompanying spreadsheet. The key points to note here are:
- over 3.4 million employments were furloughed by large employers with 250 or more employments on 5 May (the peak for this category), this reduced to 2.8 million employments furloughed by 30 June. This is largest net decline across the employer size bands, but the lowest proportional reduction from the peak number of employments furloughed
- employers with 20 to 49 employments had a peak of 1.14 million employments furloughed on 17 April, compared with a peak of 796,200 for employers with 100 to 249 employments on 1 May
- employers with one employment had a peak of 295,700 employments furloughed on 20 April, compared to 219,400 employments furloughed on 30 June. A net decline of 76,300
Figure 8: Total employments furloughed (millions) by employer size (number of employees), 23 March to 30 June 2020
CJRS has been introduced by the government to support employers through the COVID-19 period, this has commonly been referred to as the furlough scheme. It works by providing grants to employers of up to a maximum 80% of salary to a maximum value of £2,500 per employee. Up to the end of July, the scheme also met some of the cost of employer pension contributions and the employer National Insurance Contributions.
The scheme is based around HMRC’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. For an employer to qualify for the scheme they need to have created a PAYE scheme by 19 March 2020. In these statistics, an employer is defined as a PAYE scheme.
The rules for an employment to qualify to be covered by the scheme are set out in guidance, and two of the key rules are that the furloughed employee must have been employed on 19 March 2020 and the employer must have submitted a Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC for the employee by this date. Further information on the qualifying criteria are available on the GOV.UK website.
Changes to the scheme from 1 July
From 1 July 2020, employers have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time. Additionally, employers have the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.
The scheme closed to new entrants from 30 June 2020. After this date, employers have only been able to furlough employees they furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June 2020.
As a consequence of the closure of the scheme to additional employees and the minimum three-week furlough period that applied until the end of June, the final date that an employer could have furloughed an employee for the first time was 10 June 2020. Employers had until 31 July 2020 to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June 2020. A small number of claims have been made since this date. These claims relate to exceptions as set out in the CJRS guidance (for example, for employees being furloughed who have been absent from work and who had been paid Statutory Maternity Pay).
An employer is defined within this release as a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Scheme. In some circumstances this does not map directly to what is commonly understood to be an employer. For example, some organisations operate multiple payrolls, and in other situations, a group of companies may pool their payrolls together under one PAYE scheme. However, in our view PAYE schemes provides a reasonable proxy for employers for the purposes of this release.
An employment is defined within this release as anyone who meets the scheme criteria set out within the published guidance. We have applied this definition in order to keep the presentation simple and the difficulty in separating out Office Holders (such as directors) from what are generally considered employees. Further information on the eligibility criteria is set out in the background section above.
Measuring the data
Data source and collection
The data for this release comes from HM Revenue and Customs’ CJRS claims. It covers the whole population rather than a sample of people or companies, and it will allow for more detailed estimates of the population. The release is classed as Experimental Statistics as the methodologies used to produce the statistics are still in their development phase. As a result, the series are subject to revisions.
Additional data from HMRC’s Real Time Information system has been matched with CJRS data in order to produce the statistics released here.
This publication covers all employers and their employments that have made CJRS claims for support from the inception of the scheme up until 31 July 2020 covering the period to 30 June 2020.
Future bulletins are planned to include additional statistics. The further analysis will be informed by user feedback. Please email CJRS.Statistics.Enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk. If you would like to offer feedback on how the contents can be improved in the future.
The figures for the total number of employments presented in this release have been calculated on a different basis to the figures that make up the breakdowns. Where an employer has submitted multiple claims for different periods, the maximum number of employments that each employer has claimed for is counted. Some employers may have furloughed different staff at different times. In this situation, the employer’s contribution to the overall total figure will be the maximum number of staff they furloughed at any one time – rather than the total number of distinct employees furloughed during the furlough scheme (not necessarily all at the same time).
These statistics count employments. Therefore, an employee with jobs at two employers will be counted twice if both jobs are furloughed.
The take-up figures and the breakdown by employer size are based on a list of employees employed on 19 March 2020 and included in PAYE Real Time Information submissions for the 2019 to 2020 tax year. Only employments in RTI submissions received by HMRC by 19 March 2020 are counted. Following the criteria for qualifying for the scheme, this is supplemented by a list of people who were employed on 28 February 2020 but who left their job before 19 March and who were later re-employed by the same employer.
In some circumstances HMRC holds incomplete information about employments, for example where a leaving date had not been submitted by employer. In this situation, an estimate of the probability that an individual was employed on the qualifying dates has been used. The assessment of whether a person was employed on the qualifying dates is based on the methodology used for the joint HMRC/ONS statistics release, Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information.
Employers making claims for 100 or more employees are required to submit the details of the employees furloughed in a spreadsheet-type file. While these claims have been processed from a customer service perspective, the processing of this information for these statistics has been complex and the processing of data on some employments has not been completed. This is a factor behind the unknown category in the tables. The completeness of this data has improved since the first release, and we expect some further (smaller) improvements.
The geographical and demographic breakdowns of employments include all employees that employers have furloughed where it has been possible to link claim data on furloughed employments to classifying information (such as the employee’s age, gender and address). The linking has been performed using employees’ National Insurance numbers to data held within HMRC’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) system. When the employer-submitted National Insurance numbers are not of sufficient quality to be matched with other HMRC data, the employments have been categorised as ‘unknown’.
The geographic breakdowns in the tables and maps use a postcode lookup file from Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to link UK postcodes to geographic areas. Where a geographic area is potentially disclosive, we have combined the figure for this area with an adjoining area. This applies to the Isles of Scilly (combined with Cornwall) and the City of London (combined with the City of Westminster).
Industrial sector information is based on the Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR) produced by the ONS. Where PAYE schemes are absent from the IDBR, we have used sector information from Companies House, linking on employer name where possible. This provides Standard Industrial Classification codes ( UK SIC 2007 ) for employers that have made a claim. Where we have unable to determine SIC codes, we have reported the sector as ‘unknown’.
The methodology applied to develop the time series of the number of employments furloughed per day, in simple terms adds the number of employments detailed on each claim made to HMRC.
The time series in this bulletin show figures for the number of employments furloughed each day, using all claims submitted to HMRC before 1 August 2020. The closing date for claims for periods to the end of June was 31 July but claims for July onwards may be submitted until the end of November. Whilst we have been able to produce time series up to the end of June, at the time of the preparation of this bulletin the data available for July was not complete enough to produce reliable statistics. We will reassess the position for the next release.
In producing the time series statistics some challenges had to be tackled. These included dealing with data on amendments to claims and claims for overlapping periods. In addition, claims for 100 or more furloughed staff may include staff furloughed for varying periods. These factors combined with some incomplete data (as mentioned above) make counting the number of employees furloughed over time complex. The method employed is designed to generally prevent overcounting employments but may in certain circumstances undercount. Consequently, the time series presented in the bulletin may typically slightly undercount the number of furloughed employments. We plan to review the method used for possible refinements ahead of the next publication and will revise the figures if appropriate.
The total amount claimed reported in this release of £30.8 billion reflects unadjusted claims data and is not directly comparable to the figure reported in the July 2020 Public Sector finances statistics. The figure in this release is the cumulative total claimed from the schemes inception for all claims made to 31 July 2020 for the furlough period to 30 June 2020. The figure within the Public Sector finances statistics has been calculated on National Accounts Basis and as such shifts the figures over time slightly compared to the unadjusted claim amounts.
Questions and feedback on these statistics will be welcomed and can be sent to the email address above.
Strengths and limitations
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) grants pre-release access to Official Statistics publications, and in accordance with the HMRC policy, pre-release access has been granted to a number of people to enable the preparation of a ministerial briefing. Further details, including a list of those granted access, can be found on HMRC’s website.
Experimental Statistics status
The release is classed as Experimental Statistics as the methodologies used to produce the statistics are still in their development phase. This does not mean that the statistics are of low quality, but it does signify that the statistics are new and still being developed. As the methodologies are refined and improved, there may be revisions to these statistics.
Rather than waiting until the development work has been completed, the statistics are being published now to involve potential users in developing the statistics. We hope that this encourages users to provide us with their thoughts and suggestions of how useful the statistics are and what can be done to improve them. Comments can be sent by email to CJRS.Statistics.Enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk.
More information about what it means for Official Statistics to be classified as Experimental Statistics is available from the Office for Statistics Regulation.
Office for Statistics regulation review
These statistics have been produced quickly in response to developing world events. The Office for Statistics Regulation, on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, has reviewed them against several key aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics and regards them as consistent with the Code’s pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.
Strengths of the data
The data used in this release includes all claims made by employers up until 31 July 2020 and thus covers the complete employer population having made at least one CJRS claim for staff furloughed to the end of June 2020. We have linked CJRS data to Pay As You Earn Real Time Information data (PAYE RTI) to provide the additional information presented in this release.
The figures in this release incorporate data on claims received by HMRC up to 31 July and cover employments furloughed up to 30 June 2020. They also reflect improvements to the methodology used. In future iterations of this statistics release there will may be some further revisions reflecting improvements to the data processing and methodology.
Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, UK: August 2020 - Employee and earnings statistics from PAYE Real Time Information.
Labour market in the regions of the UK: August 2020 - Regional breakdowns of changes in UK employment, unemployment and economic activity
Employment in the UK: August 2020 - Estimates of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for the UK.
Average weekly earnings in Great Britain: August 2020 - Estimates of growth in earnings for employees before tax and other deductions from pay.
HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics - Collection of HMRC data regarding COVID-19 response initiatives and policy.