Five thousand still furloughed when support ended

Over five thousand people in Sunderland were still on furlough when the pandemic support scheme closed at the end of September, new figures show.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:40 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:45 pm
Final furlough figures

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 5,500 jobs held by workers living in the area were still furloughed as of September 30 – five per cent of those eligible.

The furlough rate in the city was equal to the national average average of four per cent

Around 46,300 jobs have been furloughed in the area at various times since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme began in March 2020.

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They are among 11.7 million jobs across the UK to have received wage support from the Government at some point, with more than one million still being supported nationally when the scheme wrapped up.

The data shows men in Sunderland were more likely to be on furlough than women – with 7% men on the scheme, compared to 3% for women and the manufacturing sector was the most reliant on the support scheme, making up 42% of all furloughed jobs.

Tom Waters, senior research economist at the Institute of Fiscal Studies, said: "Early statistics don’t suggest any significant increase in redundancies, suggesting that many employees will be rehired into their old jobs.

"We can safely say that the furlough scheme has prevented a substantial job losses – but it has come with a huge price tag, at almost £70bn.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "As a result of our action the economy is growing, more employees are on payrolls than ever before and unemployment has fallen for eight months in a row."