Thousands fewer Doncaster workers on furlough in April - but over 12,000 still are

Thousands fewer workers in Doncaster were on furlough in April, as coronavirus restrictions started easing across the UK.

Many pub, restaurant and shop workers returned to their roles that month as outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail opened for the first time since December.

However, with restrictions still in place, businesses in other sectors continue to be hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

HM Revenue and Customs figures show that 12,100 jobs held by workers living in Doncaster were furloughed in April.

Rishi Sunak

That was 3,100 fewer than the 15,200 furloughed at the end of March.

The figures also show that in April in Doncaster:

Furloughed jobs in the retail sector dropped by 970, to 2,320

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In the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors, 320 fewer jobs were supported by the scheme, however 750 were still furloughed in April

The number of hospitality jobs furloughed fell by 410, to 2,890

Through the scheme, the Government pays 80 per cent of a worker’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, if they haven’t been able to work due to the impact of the pandemic.

However, employers will pay a larger contribution from July.

Dan Tomlinson, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, which focuses on living standards, said the drop in the number of people on furlough was "encouraging".

He added that it is an indicator that the labour market – as well as the wider economy – is recovering quickly.

“But with around one in six young workers still on furlough at the end of April, today’s figures are a stark reminder of the risk of rising unemployment when the furlough scheme ends," he said.

"The Government must do all it can to ensure those workers find work as quickly as possible.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We’ll continue to support those who need it through to September but I am hopeful that we’ll see more people moving back into work as we continue on the road to recovery.”

Separate HMRC figures show 11,000 self-employed workers in Doncaster have received Government cash since the self-employment income support scheme started.The total value of the claims made across the area stood at £90.4 million by May 9.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.