Hundreds off furlough as support scheme winds down

Hundreds more workers came off furlough in Northumberland in August – just before the scheme ended last month.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 3:07 pm
Furlough figures

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 4,700 jobs held by workers living in the area were furloughed as of August 31 – four per cent of all that were eligible.

That was 1,300 fewer than the 6,000 at the end of July – when five per cent of jobs were furloughed and 29,100 fewer than in May 2020, when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was at its peak.

The figures come as a new report warns that over-50s made redundant following the end of furlough could see themselves locked out of work by ageism.

In Northumberland, 2,030 people aged 50 and over were on furlough at the end of August – down from 2,480 a month previously.

By comparison, there were just 860 workers aged under 30 still on the scheme at this time.

Nationally, between mid-May last year and August this year, the number of jobs furloughed nationally has fallen from 8.9 million to just 1.3 million – with 260,000 coming off the scheme in the last month.

The Centre for Ageing Better said the latest labour market figures showed that 355,000 over-50s are unemployed, with 31,000 having been made redundant between May and July.

Kim Chaplain, associate director for work at the organisation, said: “With the furlough scheme over and many over-50s looking for work, it’s vital that employers are able to tap into the wealth of talent and experience that this workforce can bring."