LATEST figures suggest 350,700 jobs in the North East are still fully furloughed – including 81,300 in the Tees Valley.

Of those furloughed roles in the Tees Valley, 36,300, or 45 per cent, are deemed to be at risk when the scheme is pulled at the end of next month.

The Labour Party has said they have pledged to do everything it can to save jobs as the furlough cliff-edge approaches.

There are still several parts of the UK economy unable to open at all with many businesses in the hardest hit sectors unable to operate at full capacity. With Covid-19 cases on the rise again, it’s unlikely this will change in five weeks time. Removing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme now means thousands of workers across the region will see support removed before it is possible for them to return to work, Labour has said.

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North is calling on the government to extend and review the scheme and provide targeted support to those who need it.

He said this latest information has come hard on the heels of the news that 12,500 people more across the Tees Valley are now claiming unemployment related benefits.

Mr Cunningham said: “If the Government is serious about levelling up, they should be offering proper job protection to people constituencies like mine. In Stockton North, 11,700 workers remain fully furloughed and 5,200 of those jobs are deemed at risk because of this Tory government pushing ahead with the complete removal of the coronavirus job retention scheme.

“Residents in my constituency working in jobs hardest hit by this pandemic – like pubs, clubs and restaurants – will be wondering why this Tory government doesn’t seem to care about them or their livelihoods. Stockton already faces high levels of deprivation."