HUNDREDS more workers have come off furlough in recent months, ahead of a reduction in Government support for employees’ wages.

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs show that 46,000 jobs held by workers living in the Braintree district were furloughed as of June 30, the latest available figures.

That is seven per cent of all who were eligible, and 9,900 fewer than the 53,500 who were furloughed at the end of May.

A similar pattern followed in Maldon as 1,900 jobs were furloughed, 400 fewer than the 2,300 at the end of May.

They were among 590,000 people removed from the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme across the UK.

The number of workers still furloughed fell to 1.9million in June – the lowest level since the start of the pandemic.

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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 ten per cent of their employees’ salaries, while Government support dropped from 80 per cent to 70 per cent.

From Sunday, employers cover 20 per cent of the furlough pay until the scheme comes to a close at the end of September.

The number of people on furlough has been dropping since January, when 5.1million workers were stuck at home.

They were guaranteed 80 per cent of their salaries – to a monthly limit of £2,500 – from the Government scheme.

But things improved with the lifting of lockdown restrictions, which had prevented businesses from trading normally, or even opening at all.

Following the reopening of indoor hospitality in May, the accommodation and food services sector saw the highest numbers of UK workers coming off furlough in June.

This was also the case in Braintree, with the number of furloughed hospitality employees falling from 920 to 540, followed by the retail sector, which saw 150 people come off the scheme, and the arts industry at 120.

In Maldon the number of furloughed hospitality employees fell from 380 to 210.

This was followed by the retail sector, which saw 70 people come off the scheme, and the arts industry at 40.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “It’s fantastic to see businesses across the UK open, employees returning to work and the numbers of furloughed jobs falling to their lowest levels since the scheme began.

“I’m proud our plan for jobs is working and our support will continue in the months ahead.”

Young people have been the most likely to be on furlough throughout the pandemic, but this changed in June, when they were moved off the scheme twice as fast as those in all other age brackets.

In total, 600,000 under-25s across the UK were either brought back to work or made redundant.