Encouraging fall in number of Wigan benefit claimants - despite furlough's end
The Resolution Foundation think tank said many feared the closure of the furlough scheme at the end of September would spark a fresh labour market shock – but unemployment has continued to fall across the UK.
It means five per cent of the area’s working-age population sought support in October – down from 5.2 per cent the previous month.
And it was also 3,285 fewer than the number of claimants recorded in October last year.
The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants, who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.
National figures, which are adjusted to account for seasonal changes, show the number of people seeking help across the UK fell by 82,000 month-on-month to two million in October.
The ONS said the number of payrolled workers was “well above” pre-pandemic levels, rising by 160,000 between September and October to 29.3 million.
The unemployment rate also fell to 4.3 per cent between July and September, down from 4.5 between June and August.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the latest jobs figures as being “testament to the extraordinary success of the furlough scheme”.
But the ONS cautioned the full effect of furlough closing may yet be felt.
Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: “It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay.”
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