Which industry is paying the biggest monthly furlough wage bill?

The latest research by leading property recruitment specialist, Rayner Personnel, has looked at which industry is currently relying on the Government furlough scheme the most and what this equates to as a monthly wage cost.

Across all UK industries, 30% of the nation’s workforce is on furlough. That’s nearly 11 million people at a cost of £26.7bn per month.

The hardest-hit has been the Accommodation and Food Service Activities industry. The industry has the highest number of workers on furlough at 80%, more than two million workers, with a gross monthly furlough wage bill of over £5bn.

In terms of the sheer percentage of the workforce on furlough, the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry has also seen a huge number of employees furloughed (78%).

This then drops considerably to the next highest, with 37% of Construction industry workers on furlough. The Transport and Storage industry (35%) and the Administrative and Support Service Activities industry (34%) have also seen a high percentage of the total workforce furloughed.

However, in terms of the total monthly cost of the furloughed workforce, the Wholesale and Retail: Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles is the industry with the second-highest gross wage bill. The sector is currently paying out £2.9bn a month in furloughed wages, with the Administrative and Support Service Activities industry, Construction and the Arts Entertainment and Recreation sectors also seeing a monthly furlough cost exceeding £2bn a month.

While the Real Estate sector has seen the number of workers furloughed hit 28%, the monthly wage packet for these workers is just £460,000 per month. This is the second-lowest of all industries, with just the Water Supply Sewerage Waste Management And Remediation Activities industry coming in lower.

Percentage of workforce of furlough
Total number of workforce on furlough
Monthly cost at furlough limit – gross £2,500
Accommodation And Food Service Activities
Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Administrative And Support Service Activities
Arts Entertainment And Recreation
Transportation And Storage
Professional Scientific And Technical Activities
Human Health And Social Work Activities
Information And Communication
Real Estate Activities
Water Supply Sewerage Waste Management And Remediation Activities
All Industries
Data on the percentage of furloughed employees and the number of employees per industry from the Office for National Statistics.

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