Dozens fewer people in Maldon were claiming unemployment benefits in October than September, figures show, despite the end of the Government’s furlough scheme.

Office for National Statistics data shows 1,200 people in Maldon were claiming out-of-work benefits as of October 14 – down from 1,280 in September.

It means 3.2 per cent of the area’s working-age population sought support in October – down from 3.4 per cent the previous month.

And it was 595 fewer than the number of claimants recorded in October last year.

The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants, who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the latest jobs figures as being “testament to the extraordinary success of the furlough scheme”.

But the ONS said the full effect of furlough closing may yet be felt.

Head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said: “It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay.

“However, October’s early estimate shows the number of people on the payroll rose strongly on the month and stands well above its pre-pandemic level.”