More than 10,000 people in Sheffield affected as furlough ends today

More than 10,000 people in Sheffield face a big change in circumstances when furlough ends.

By David Walsh
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 5:00 am

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which protected millions of jobs during the pandemic, is being wound up today.

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Government figures show 10,960 people in Sheffield are on furlough. In South Yorkshire, as of July 31, it was 24,590, which is the latest figure available.

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Government figures show 10,960 people in Sheffield are on furlough as the scheme ends.

Some 1.6 million people nationally were on furlough at the end of July - the lowest level since the start of the pandemic and 340,000 fewer than a month earlier.

The numbers dropped as the economy reopened. In May 2020, nearly nine million people were on furlough.

From March 2020 to the end of September 2021, the cost will come to about £66bn, according to estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility, about one fifth of the money the government has spent on the response to Covid.

At the start of the pandemic it was feared that more than one in 10 workers would become unemployed. Instead the unemployment rate is currently less than one in 20.

The scheme sees government paying towards the wages of people who couldn't work, or whose employers could no longer afford to pay them, up to a monthly limit of £2,500.

At first it paid 80 per cent of the wages, but in August and September it paid 60 per cent, with employers paying 20 per cent.

Many forecasters, including the Bank of England, are expecting a small rise in unemployment when furlough ends.

The government says 11.6 million jobs have been supported by the scheme.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.