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The number of people on furlough has continued to decline, with young people in particular coming off the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, new figures show.
At the end of July, 1.6 million people were on furlough, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic and 340,000 fewer than a month earlier.
Last May, at the scheme's peak, nearly 9 million people were on furlough.
However, the fall in numbers has not been equal across the sectors, with half of eligible workers in the travel industry still on the scheme.
Since the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020, 11.6 million workers have been paid by the government programme, which is due to be wound up at the end of this month.
According to the Treasury there had been a “striking fall” in the number of young people on furlough with 121,600 people aged 18 to 34 coming off the scheme during June and July, it said.
The arts, entertainment and recreation sectors, as well as accommodation and food services have seen particularly large reductions in the number of jobs on furlough, the Treasury said. Numbers furloughed from these sectors declined by 26,200 and 96,700 in July respectively.
However, 51% of people employed in passenger air transport and 41% of travel agency and tour operator workers are still on furlough, Treasury figures reveal.
Last month, British Airways warned it was facing a serious problem over wage costs, which would steeply increase after the end of the furlough scheme.
Older people were also more likely to be still on furlough. Those aged 65 and over had the highest rate of furlough, at 8%.
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