Covid furlough scheme ends with thousands still on furlough

Most furloughed workers were in wholesale or retail, with hospitality next highest on 1,760, followed by 1,570 on furlough in manufacturing

The Government has ended its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which paid furloughed workers 80 per cent of their salary throughout the pandemic to avoid mass unemployment and companies going bust when workplaces closed last March due to Covid-19.

Ministers have hailed the scheme a “job well done”, with £70 billion being spent supporting 11.6 million workers over the past 18 months.

However, experts have said that autumn is set to be bumpy for Britain with the end of furlough coinciding with rising energy bills and the end of the Universal Credit £20 uplift.

According to official HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC) figures, there were still 11,500 people on furlough in Bradford at the last count of furloughed workers on July 31.

This accounts for nearly one in 17 of all workers eligible for furlough in the district, but is a drop of nearly two-thirds from the 2021 peak in February of 30,800.

A quarter of the figures still furloughed in Bradford are aged 30 to 39, and 60 per cent of those on furlough were men.

Most furloughed workers (2,220) were in wholesale or retail, including vehicle engineers, with hospitality (accommodation and food services) next highest on 1,760, followed by 1,570 on furlough in manufacturing.

Think tank The Resolution Foundation said while it expects most of the roughly one million workers still on furlough to return to their jobs, hundreds of thousands of people will be looking for new jobs in October, with older workers most at risk of unemployment.

Dan Tomlinson, senior economist at the foundation, said: Furlough has been critical to fighting the Covid crisis. The scheme has prevented the UK experiencing catastrophic levels of unemployment and has been worth every penny.

He said: Hundreds of thousands more workers will be looking for work this autumn and older workers in particular face the risk of unemployment and early retirement as they are most likely to still be on furlough.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by our writers are their own and do not represent the views of Getting Money Wise. The information provided on Getting Money Wise is intended for informational purposes only. Getting Money Wise is not liable for any financial losses incurred. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

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