Furlough Schemes in the COVID-19 Crisis: An Initial Analysis of Furloughed Employees Resuming Work
12 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2021 Last revised: 29 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 30, 2021
This article uses microdata from the Spanish Labour Force Survey (EPA) to conduct an initial analysis of the use of furlough schemes as a temporary employment adjustment mechanism in this crisis. The information drawn from the survey shows there has been an intensive use of furlough schemes since the COVID-19 crisis broke, with more than 20% of dependent employees furloughed in 2020 Q2. This is far higher than the incidence observed in previous recessions. Analysis of the employment transitions of furloughed workers shows that they were much more likely to resume employment in Q3 than workers who lost their jobs but were not furloughed. These schemes have, therefore, been highly effective in allowing workers to resume work once the lockdown measures adopted in spring 2020 were lifted. However, considering the furlough schemes that began in Q3 and those that were longer-lasting, there is less difference between furloughed and non-furloughed workers in terms of the probability of their resuming work. This essentially reflects the ongoing low level of activity associated with the continuation of the pandemic-related restrictions.
Keywords: furlough schemes, employment, COVID-19
JEL Classification: J23, J63, J08
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation