Hundreds more workers in the Epping district came off furlough in August – before the scheme ended last month.

The figures come as a new report warns that over-50s made redundant following the end of furlough could see themselves locked out of work by ageism.

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 4,300 jobs held by workers living in Epping were furloughed as of August 31 – 7 per cent of all that were eligible.

That was 500 fewer than the 4,800 at the end of July, when 8 per cent of jobs were furloughed.

The data shows 31,500 jobs held by Essex workers were furloughed and 5 per cent were eligible-5,600 fewer than the 37,100 at the end of July.

Between mid-May last year and August this year, the number of jobs furloughed nationally has fallen from 8.9 million to just 1.3 million – with 260,000 coming off the scheme in the last month.

From August 1, employers had to contribute 20 per cent of employees’ wages up to £625, with the Government contributing 60 per cent up to £1,875.

The Resolution Foundation said it is highly likely that around 1 million workers were still furloughed when the scheme closed at the end of September.

Dan Tomlinson, senior economist at the think tank, said: "Low earners, older workers and people working in sectors like overseas travel are the most likely to have been furloughed, and therefore face the greatest risk of unemployment right now.

"The Government has rightly announced further funding to assist their job searching, but is wrong to have cut unemployment support by £20 a week.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme had acted as a lifeline for communities all over the UK during the toughest of economic times.

He added: "The economy has reopened, and as planned millions of workers have moved off the scheme and back into work, now we move into the next stage of our Plan for Jobs with a £500m support package to help get people into work and into better paid jobs."