Press Release

Our response to the latest furlough figures, September 2021

Responding to the latest furlough figures published today, Nick Bowes, Chief Executive, Centre for London said:

“As has consistently been the case throughout this year, London’s workforce is disproportionately furloughed compared to all other regions in England. It is worrying that hospitality and construction continued to be the sectors reporting the highest levels of staff on furlough in London. This raises questions of how central London’s economy can bounce back as people begin to return to their offices.

“And although the overall numbers are down in the capital – we are yet to see how this might translate into redundancies as opposed to people returning to work.

“When the scheme ends later in September, the government must ensure that London’s recovery is not compromised by a surge in unemployment. They must act now to ensure that the capital’s workforce is supported into employment, including with sector-specific targeted support where required.”


Notes to Editors

  • Centre for London is the capital’s dedicated think tank. Our mission is to develop new solutions to London’s critical challenges and advocate for a fair and prosperous global city.
  • The proportion of eligible ‘employments’ (read: jobs) furloughed in London as of July 31 was 8%. This compares to 6% in England.  This is a change from 9% and 7% as of June 30.

Furlough rates by sector

  • In all sectors, the proportion of jobs furloughed in June was at least as high in London than in England as a whole, and often higher. The sectors with the biggest percentage point difference in the proportion of workers furloughed in London vs England as a whole are: (1) construction (17% in London v 9% in England as a whole, (2) accommodation and food services (21% in London v 15% in England as a whole), (3) manufacturing (11% in London v 7% in England as a whole).
  • The sectors with the highest number of individuals furloughed were the same in London and England as a whole: (1) accommodation and food services, (2) wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles, and (3) administrative and support services.
  • *‘Other service activities’, a loose category which comprises membership organisations, repair of household goods, and personal services such as hairdressing, had a furlough rate of 17% in London in July.