Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk: Number of workers on furlough revealed

Nearly 28,000 workers have been furloughed in the Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk area during the coronavirus lockdown, according to latest figures.

The Government's Job Retention Scheme (JRS) was brought in to help save jobs and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme has provided grants covering up to 80 per cent of workers' wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee, plus associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

Bury St Edmunds town centre on Monday. Picture by Mecha Morton
Bury St Edmunds town centre on Monday. Picture by Mecha Morton

It will close on October 31 with support gradually reduced over the coming months.

According to latest statistics for claims received up to May 31, 709,600 people in the East of England were on furlough.

In parliamentary constituencies, this included 14,000 in Bury St Edmunds, 13,900 in West Suffolk, 11,200 in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, 13,200 in Ipswich and 11,500 in South West Norfolk which includes Thetford.

Based on local authority areas, there were 85,600 in Suffolk with 20,700 in West Suffolk, 11,700 in Mid Suffolk, 10,500 in Babergh, 16,200 in Ipswich and 26,500 in East Suffolk.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the furlough provisions of the scheme were introduced 'thanks to concerted campaigning' by them and other chambers in the British Chambers of Commerce network to give companies 'some much-needed financial headroom during the lockdown period and beyond'.

“These figures show that the JRS has been a great lobbying success," he said.

“It has ensured that tens of thousands of roles in Suffolk have been preserved during the last few months: an essential contribution to any future, sustainable, recovery.”

“With the furlough scheme being tapered and coming to an end in the autumn, it is imperative that the government works with businesses to ensure that there isn’t an unemployment cliff edge at the end of the year with resulting higher unemployment.

“We will be talking to our local MPs and relevant ministers around the potential different approaches for different sectors to minimise any adverse impact of the JRS permanently closing in October.”