LABOUR is warning of a job crisis in Lancashire caused by redundancies in retail and manufacturing industries as the government’s furlough scheme is withdrawn.

The party’s opposition leader at the county council, Cllr Azhar Ali, fears that as coronavirus pandemic support for staff wages is scaled down, many local workers will lose their jobs.

The North West region has the highest proportion and number of retail and manufacturing workers in the country.

There are 351,000 people working in retail in the North West, more than 10 per cent of the entire workforce in the region, the highest proportion anywhere in the UK.

There are also 318,200 people working in manufacturing, the highest number in any region in the UK and almost 10 per cent of the workforce.

In both the retail and manufacturing sectors around three-quarters of employers have made use of the government’s furlough scheme to protect jobs, but with support now being withdrawn from businesses and due to end in October, Labour is calling for support for the hardest hit sectors.

Nelson East’s Cllr Ali said: “The government is writing off Lancashire as the country enters recession, with the figures suggesting our communities will be disproportionately hit by the jobs crisis.

“We’ve already seen job losses at major manufacturers such as Rolls Royce and Safran Nacelles and I’m extremely worried that there is more to come.

“The government needs to do right by Lancashire communities and businesses, and see them through the crisis by targeting support.”