Hundreds off furlough in Hartlepool as support scheme winds down

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

Friday, 8th October 2021, 3:07 pm
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:49 pm
Chancellor Rishi Sunak initiated the furlough scheme at the start of the 2020 pandemic.

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 1,400 jobs held by workers living in the area were furloughed as of August 31 – four per cent of all that were eligible.

That was 400 fewer than the 1,800 at the end of July, when five per cent of jobs were furloughed, and 7,700 fewer than in May 2020, when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was at its peak following its creation by Chancellor Rishi Sunak at the start of the pandemic.

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.

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In Hartlepool, 550 people aged 50 and over were on furlough at the end of August – down from 680 a month previously.

By comparison, there were just 290 workers aged under 30 were 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."