Nearly nine million people had to borrow more money because of the coronavirus pandemic by December 2020, new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

The ONS said the “labour market shocks” associated with the pandemic had been felt more by young people and the lowest paid, with those aged under 30 and those with household incomes under £10,000 were around 35% and 60% respectively more likely to be furloughed than the general population.

Of those who have not been able to work – either because of being on furlough or for another reason – more than half (52%) of people in the top income quintile continued to be paid in full, compared to 28% of those in the lowest.

Employed parents were almost twice as likely to report a reduction in income than the general employed population throughout the pandemic, the ONS said.

However, this gap gradually narrowed throughout 2020 as schools reopened, it added.

Parents were less able to afford either a holiday or an “unexpected but necessary expense” than non-parents and were also about 50% more likely to have difficulty meeting their usual expenses, it said.

Workers and job seekers were also more likely to have decreased income during the pandemic while others such as retired people out of the labour market were more protected, the ONS said.

Self-employed people were more likely to report reduced working hours and income, even if they had received support from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), it added.