Fewer workers in Aberdeenshire on furlough as economy reopens

More than 1,000 more workers in Aberdeenshire came off furlough in June ahead of a reduction in UK Government support for employees' wages.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 6:00 am
David Duguid MP is pleased to see more people getting back to work.

The Resolution Foundation – an independent think-tank focused on improving the living standards of those on low-to-middle incomes – says it is vital that as many furloughed staff as possible return to work soon, to limit the rise in unemployment after the scheme ends.

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs show that 6,400 jobs held by workers living in Aberdeenshire were furloughed as of June 30 – five per cent of all that were eligible.

That was 1,300 fewer than the 7,700 furloughed at the end of May.

June’s numbers are the last before the scheme started to shift more of the burden from the Treasury to companies.

In July, employers had to pick up 10 per cent of their employees’ salaries, while Government support dropped from 80 per cent to 70 per cent. This month, employers have to cover 20 per cent of the furlough pay before the scheme comes to a close at the end of September.

Despite the number of people on the scheme falling, the Resolution Foundation said that the economy's reliance on furlough was still a "cause for concern".

Economist Charlie McCurdy said: “With employer contributions to furloughed staff doubling, and the scheme ending completely in just two months’ time, it’s vital that as many furloughed staff as possible return to work soon, in order to limit the rise in unemployment this autumn.”

Scottish Conservative MP David Duguid said it was hugely welcome to see that as the economy reopens people are getting back to work and off furlough.

In his Banff and Buchan constituency, the number of furloughed jobs has dropped to 2,100. Employees have mainly returned in the hospitality and retail sectors.

Mr Duguid said: “As restrictions ease, we are able to go out and do more things and open more places and it is right that furlough begins to wind down as we open up.

“The UK Government has provided and continues to provide unprecedented economic support to people in Banff and Buchan and across the whole UK.”