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Nearly 20 percent of Gloucestershire workforce is furloughed LEP figures show

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 18 June 2020 8:52

Nearly 20 percent of Gloucestershire workforce is furloughed LEP figures show

Data held by the powerful Gloucestershire business group GFirst LEP shows nearly a fifth of the county's workforce are currently dependent on the Government's furlough scheme. 

Earlier this month The Raikes Journal reported how the local enterprise partnership was expecting data on June 9 which would help it identify the sectors potentially in most need of its attention. 

With growing unemployment fears are some sectors, like hard-hit hospitality, could face particularly challenging times ahead. 

Since that report arrived on its desk GFirst LEP has remainedtight-lipped as it digested the data, with the figures on how many are part of the job retention scheme being the only information to find its way into the public realm. 

According to the data 76,300 workers have been furloughed in Gloucestershire of a population of working age of 384,356 – some 19.9 per cent. 

It is a figure slightly ahead of the rest of the South West (19.4 per cent) and the rest of England (18.4 per cent). 

Gloucester has the most people furloughed (16,300) - 20 per cent of the working age population of 81,664. 

Cheltenham has 14,500 on the scheme, 19.6 per cent of 73,895. 

The Cotswolds has the highest percentage of staff furloughed at 21.7 per cent – some 11,200 of a working age population of 51,665. 

In the Forest of Dean the figures are 10,000 (19.5 per cent) out of 51,185, in Stroud 13,600 out of 71,075 (19.1 per cent) and in Tewkesbury 10,700 out of 54,872 (19.5 per cent). 

Posting the data on LinkedIn Dev Chakraborty, deputy chief executive of GFirst LEP, which has its headquarters at the University of Gloucestershire Business School in Oxstalls, said: “Just a few months ago not sure if any of us had even heard of the word ‘furloughing’ before?! 

“Now, according to the latest stats from HMRC, a staggering 76,300 individuals across Gloucestershire have been furloughed. 

“This accounts for 19.9 per cent of the 16 to 64-year-old population. See image for a breakdown by Local Authority. Scary times! Stay safe everybody.” 

The privately-run local enterprise partnership, whose board in includes many prominent Gloucestershire business people, wins its funding from Government based on its business plans for the county. 

But with the advent of the lockdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic it has been helping lead and coordinate the county’s response to the crisis, which it appears could be only just beginning.