Commenting on this morning’s labour force data for September 2021 that showed a fall in unemployment to 4.3%, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Although this data relates to September, the final month of the furlough scheme, there is nothing here to give the Bank of England pause for concern when deciding whether to raise interest rates in response to rising expectations of inflation.
"In particular, the number of people reporting in the Labour Force Survey at the end of September that they are ‘temporarily away from work’, a category that includes furlough, appears to be settling near its pre-pandemic level of around 2.5m people, and 7.5% of the total number of people in employment. This suggests that any remaining people receiving furlough payments from one employer are likely to be working elsewhere.
"This is good news, and shows that the government’s policy to support jobs while the economy recovered has largely paid off."
Data on ‘employees away from work’ is available in table 3 here.