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Almost 20,000 property industry staff are still on furlough

Figures released from the government show 19,400 people in the real estate sector are still on furlough - suggesting some agents have back office staff still funded via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The government figures, released by HM Treasury within the past 24 hours, show that some £265m in public cash has been claimed by real estate sector employers between November 1 2020 and March 31 2021 alone - the likelihood is that those same employers had already claimed for substantial periods of 2020 as well.

At the start of the scheme, in March 2020 when the pandemic began to grip the UK, some 66,700 real estate sector employers were put on to furlough almost immediately; this rose to 152,400 about a year ago, when the housing market had closed for several weeks.

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Some agents and suppliers contacted by Estate Agent Today say they have a relatively small number of back-office staff still on furlough, and most suggest they will continue with this until the end of the summer.

The government stats just made available apply mostly to the end of April; they show that across all sectors of the economy, some 3.4m staff are still on furlough and these are from around 35 per cent of all employers. 

The 10 sectors with the highest furlough take-up rates at the end of April were beverage serving activities; hotels and similar accommodation; passenger air transport; photographic activities; travel agency and tour operator activities; amusement and recreation activities; sports activities; creative, arts and entertainment activities; renting and leasing of personal and household goods; and manufacture of wearing apparel.

Full details of the government figures can be read here.

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