More than 628,000 Scots jobs furloughed during pandemic

Self-employed individuals made 146,000 claims totalling £425m amid the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 628,000 Scots jobs furloughed during pandemic Getty Images
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

More than 628,000 jobs have been furloughed in Scotland during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures released today.

The figures released on Thursday show the uptake of the UK Government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes (SEISS).

Under the CJRS, up until May 31, 628,200 jobs were furloughed in Scotland, across a wide range of sectors including retail, agriculture and construction.

Self-employed individuals in Scotland made 146,000 claims totalling £425m under the SEISS.

Across the whole of the UK, 70% of those potentially eligible for support through the self-employment scheme made a claim, with the average value of claim amounting to £2900.

More than 58,000 people have been furloughed in Edinburgh, with 74,400 receiving support through the CJRS in the Glasgow region.

By local authority, North Lanarkshire has the next highest number on furlough with 41,8000 claims, followed by South Lanarkshire (39,200), Fife (37,900), Highland (32,200), Aberdeenshire (29,700) and Aberdeen city (27,700).

Regional breakdown of jobs furloughed in Scotland:

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.”

Nationally, employers in the wholesale and retail sectors have furloughed the highest number of employers, covering 1.6 million jobs, followed by accommodation and food service employers furloughing 1.4 million.

The CJRS scheme will continue to support jobs until the end of October, with flexible part-time furloughing beginning in July to support businesses as the economy is carefully reopened.

The SEISS scheme has also been extended with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant in August.

The two schemes are part of a comprehensive economic support package for individuals and businesses including loans, grants, income tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of universal credit, and mortgage holidays.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “So far, 774,000 jobs across Scotland have been saved by direct UK Government coronavirus support.

“Through the job retention scheme 628,000 Scottish jobs have been furloughed, and the UK Government has spent £425 million on supporting 146,000 self-employed people in Scotland.

“People and businesses in Scotland have also benefited from UK-wide schemes such as VAT deferral, company loans and universal credit. In addition, the Scottish Government has been allocated an additional £3.8bn in coronavirus funding through the Barnett Formula,” he added.