MORE than 1,000 furloughed South Lakeland staff went back to work in March, as the UK started to recover from the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest statistics – which reveal the situation before pubs and non-essential shops reopened in April – show that millions of people nationally were still on the income-support scheme as of March 31.

HM Revenue and Customs data shows around 10,600 jobs held by workers living in South Lakeland were furloughed then.

That was 1,200 fewer than the 11,800 furloughed at the end of February, and lower than 12,000 in January. Women in South Lakeland were more likely to be furloughed than men, with a take-up rate of 25 per cent, compared to 22 per cent. By the end of March, roughly 23,700 jobs had been supported by the scheme.