Hundreds fewer jobs furloughed in Mansfield and Ashfield - but fears over-50s at risk of unemployment

Hundreds more workers came off furlough in Mansfield and Ashfield in August, figures show – before the scheme ended last month.

By Patrick Jack
Monday, 11th October 2021, 9:17 am

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

HM Revenue and Customs data shows 1,900 jobs held by workers living in Mansfield were furloughed as of August 31 – 4 per cent of all eligible.

That was 400 fewer than the end of July and 11,600 fewer than in May 2020, when the coronavirus scheme was at its peak.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The latest HMRC data also shows 2,000 jobs in Ashfield were furloughed as of August 31 – 4 per cent of all that were eligible, down from 2,300 in July and 13,300 fewer than May 2020.

The number in Newark & Sherwood is similar, at 2,000 jobs, 4 per cent of those eligible, down from 2,500 in July and 11,900 fewer than May 2020.

Between mid-May 2020 and August 2021, the number of jobs furloughed nationally has fallen from 8.9 million to 1.3m.

From August 1, employers had to contribute 20 per cent of employees’ wages up to £625, with the Government contributing 60 per cent, up to £1,875.

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Think tank Resolution Foundation said it is likely about a million workers were still furloughed when the scheme closed at the end of September.

Dan Tomlinson, foundation economist, said: “Low earners, older workers and people working in sectors like overseas travel are the most likely to have been furloughed and therefore face the greatest risk of unemployment.

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

In Mansfield, 670 people aged 50 and over were on furlough at the end of August, compared with just 370 aged under 30.

In Ashfield, it was 770 over-50s and 380 under-30s, while in Newark & Sherwood it was 920 over-50s and 340 under-30s.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme had acted as a lifeline during the toughest of economic times.

He said: “Now we move into the next stage of our Plan for Jobs with a £500m support package to help people into work and better paid jobs.”

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