July 16, 2020 / 12:31 PM / a month ago

UK finance minister Sunak says jobs data shows furlough scheme is working

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak wearing a face mask visits the Jobcentre Plus to see the new support being provided in job centres by the doubling of work coaches, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barking, east London, Britain July 16, 2020. Anthony Upton/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said official labour market data published earlier on Thursday showed that the government’s huge jobs subsidy programme was working.

“What the figures today show is that the furlough scheme has been effective at protecting millions of people from unemployment,” Sunak told broadcasters.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of employees on companies’ payrolls plunged by 649,000 between March and June, but the largest falls were at the start of the pandemic and the pace of job losses slowed in June.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison

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