MORE than 1,500 people in Wrexham were still on furlough when the scheme closed at the end of September, figures show.

They were among more than 1 million workers being supported across the UK when the scheme wrapped up, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies said what happens to them is "critical" for the economy.

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 1,700 jobs held by workers living in Wrexham were furloughed as of September 30 – 2.9 per cent of all that were eligible.

That was 400 fewer than the number on the scheme a month previously.

And the furlough rate in Wrexham was well below the average across the UK, of 4 per cent.

Around 22,700 jobs have been furloughed in the area at various times since the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme began in March 2020.

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate 87 per cent of furlough workers have since returned to work, 3 per cent were made permanently redundant and 3 per cent voluntarily left their role.

Across the UK, men were slightly more likely to be on furlough than women at the end of September.

But the opposite was true in Wrexham, with 3.1 per cent of eligible jobs held by women on the scheme, compared to 2.8 per cent for men.

Retail workers were the most likely to be furloughed nationally when the scheme ended (15 per cent of all jobs), followed by those in the accommodation and food services sector (14 per cent).

In Wrexham, the manufacturing sector was the most reliant on the coronavirus job retension scheme at this time, making up 16 per cent of all furloughed jobs.