The Resolution Foundation think tank said many feared the closure of the furlough scheme at the end of September would spark a fresh labour market shock – but unemployment has continued to fall across the UK.
It means 5 per cent of the area’s working-age population sought support in October – down from 5.1 per cent the previous month and also 675 fewer than the number of claimants recorded in October 2020.
In Ashfield, the figure was 3,740 people, or 4.7 per cent of the working-age population down from 3,865, or 4.9 per cent in September – and 850 fewer than October 2020.
The figures include those aged 16-64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants.
National figures show the number of people seeking help across the UK fell by 82,000 month-on-month to two million in October.
The ONS said the number of payrolled workers was ‘well above’ pre-pandemic levels, rising by 160,000 between September and October to 29.3m.
The unemployment rate also fell to 4.3 per cent between July and September, down from 4.5 per cent between June and August.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the figures as being ‘testament to the extraordinary success of the furlough scheme’, but the ONS cautioned the full effect of furlough closing may yet be felt.
Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: “It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay.
“However, October’s estimate shows the number of people on the payroll rose strongly and stands well above its pre-pandemic level.
“There is also no sign of an upturn in redundancies and businesses tell us only a small proportion of their previously furloughed staff have been laid off.”
Nye Cominetti, foundation senior economist, said: “Early indications are the UK’s jobs market has remained resilient, with record vacancies and job moves, and withstood the withdrawal of emergency support well.”