Furloughed Workers: Which Areas have been Most Affected?

New furlough figures have shown that Crawley, Burnley and Slough have been the towns hit hardest by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The data has provided a geographical breakdown of where people across the United Kingdom have been furloughed. The highest numbers of workers overall who have been put on the government’s job retention scheme were in London, the South East and the North West.

Over one million workers in London were placed on furlough by their employers, with the South East reporting a similar figure. In the North West 828,000 workers were furloughed

Figures were lower in the East Midlands with 559,000 furloughed workers and even lower in Wales with figures of 316,000.

Since March, a total of almost nine million people have been furloughed, the majority of which worked across the automobile industry (1.6 million) and the food services and accommodation sector (1.4 million). Approximately 800,000 were furloughed in manufacturing, and 679,000 from the construction trade.

The research from Centre for Cities, has shown that Crawley, Burnley and Slough were the most affected with around a third of the workforce furloughed.

Other cities such as Birmingham, Hull, Doncaster and Stoke saw a quarter of workers placed on furlough for at least three weeks since the scheme started.

However, university towns including Oxford and Cambridge bucked the trend and saw fewer furloughed workers.

Percentage of furloughed workers in worst affected places across the UK:

Crawley – 33% Hull – 25%
Burnley – 30% Luton – 25%
Slough – 27% Doncaster – 25%
Sunderland – 26% Blackburn – 25%
Birmingham – 26% Stoke – 25%

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Our unprecedented coronavirus support schemes are protecting millions of vital jobs and businesses across the whole of the United Kingdom – and will help ensure we recover from this outbreak as swiftly as possible.

“We have extended both schemes so they will continue to provide measured support across the UK as we start to reopen the economy.”