What you need to know
When interpreting results users should be aware of the potential effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is especially true when comparing time periods. Included in this release are January to December 2020 and January to December 2021. During these periods employers were able to claim Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme support for employees. Self-employed workers could make claims through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
An ONS article provides a fuller explanation of the impact of these schemes. The article also contains guidance on measuring labour market statistics.
Applying this guidance, furloughed employees are classified as employed, but temporarily away from work. All things being equal, furloughed workers will not reduce the level or rate of employment. However, the scheme will lead to an increase in the number of employees working no hours. It will also lead to a reduction in the number of hours worked. There may be a compensating effect if employees on furlough take other employment. This may be detected by an increase in the number of people with second jobs.
We expect people claiming SEISS will remain self-employed in labour market statistics. However, they may class themselves as temporarily away from work and record no hours of employment. Under the terms of the scheme, they can continue to work or take on other employment. As such, their labour market status and hours worked may have changed during the life of the scheme.
Across local areas, there was variation in the uptake of these schemes and the impact of COVID-19.
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