Nottingham has seen a large rise in those on furlough. Image Credit: Olimpia Zagnat

Nottinghamshire saw a 75 per cent rise in the number of people on furlough during the November lockdown.

Government data shows that around 41,500 people were on furlough in the county by the end of November, up by 18,000 on a month earlier.

Mansfield and Newark and Sherwood were the worst affected areas of the county, with those on furlough in Mansfield doubling to 6,000 in a month.

Of the two districts’ eligible populations, 12 per cent were on the scheme going into 2021; the third-highest figure in the East Midlands.

A spokeswoman for Mansfield District Council said: “We recognise Mansfield is home to some of the industries most affected by the pandemic.

“We are supporting businesses and encouraging them to apply for the grants they are entitled to.

“We are working hard to ensure we reach all those businesses entitled to help and have already handed out £2.5 million in grants since October 2020.”

Despite a slight fall in December, 11 per cent of those eligible were using the scheme in the last two months of 2020 compared to six per cent at the end of October.

Nottingham is however faring better than any other unitary authority in the region and furlough numbers have not overtaken their July peak.

Broxtowe and Rushcliffe were least affected by the second lockdown, with just a three per cent growth in those using furlough between October 31 and December 31.

Ashfield saw a five per cent rise, with Bassetlaw, Gedling and Nottingham’s figures increasing by four per cent in the same period.

Chris Hobson, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Director of Policy and External Affairs, said: “While the East Midlands has a very diverse economy, we know from a labour market perspective there’s a significant reliance on service-based jobs in industries such as retail, hospitality and tourism.

Chris Hobson says the rise in furlough was to be expected. Image Credit: East Midlands Chamber of Commerce

“So it’s no big surprise to see such a large increase in the number of people on furlough during the second national lockdown in November.

“Given many of the affected businesses and jobs would otherwise be viable without the enforced closures by Government, it shows just how important the Job Retention Scheme has been throughout the pandemic.”

The latest national data – released monthly by the government – show that over three million were either partially or fully furloughed at the end of December.