Almost one in three workers in East Lancashire have been furloughed and are having their wages paid by the government.

New figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 65,900 workers in the east of the county have been placed on the government’s ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

In Blackburn with Darwen the number of people claiming 80 per cent of their wages on the programme was 16,500 – nearly a third of the town’s workforce.

Burnley has been the worst affected by the crisis, with 35% of workers placed on the programme to help employers and employees through the coronavirus crisis.

Again, almost one third of people are on the scheme in Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale and Ribble Valley.

Across the county, 137,500 people were on the scheme in May.

Responding to the figures, chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The UK Government is doing everything we can to protect jobs and businesses in the North West and across the UK during the crisis.

“Our unprecedented job retention and self-employment support schemes have supported the livelihoods of millions and will help ensure our recovery is as swift as possible.”

The self-employed have been claiming support on the government’s ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ – designed to help those who cannot be furloughed.

Over £100 million has been claimed by 38,500 people in Lancashire who asked for support.