More than 18,200 people in the north-east were furloughed at the end of October, new statistics have revealed.
The HMRC has released figures covering up until October 31 under the UK Government’s job retention scheme.
Aberdeen City had around 10,000 people furloughed, while Aberdeenshire had 8,300 at the end of October. Moray had 2,500.
In the north-east, the highest take-up rate of the furlough scheme was seen in Aberdeen North, which had a rate of 9%, although this is only 1% higher than the Scottish average.
In Aberdeen North, there were 4,600 employments furloughed at the end of October, out of 48,900 eligible employment, while in Aberdeen South the figure was 3,900 out of 46,700 – a take-up of 8%.
In Gordon, which covers a wide area, including Bridge of Don and Huntly, there were 4,000 employments under the job retention scheme, out of 51,700 – a take-up of 8%.
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine saw 7% employments fall under the scheme, 3,100 out of 46,300 eligible, while Banff and Buchan saw 6% take-up, 2,600 employments out of a possible 43,500.
Now extended until April, the job retention scheme has supported 2.4 million employments across the UK since March.
In May it was extended until October, and now has been extended again until April 2021.
Employers can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.
In Scotland, there are around 110,100 people fully furloughed, while there are a further 85,000 partially furloughed.
Alexander Burnett, MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said: “The UK Government’s job retention scheme continues to be a major success in protecting jobs and livelihoods right across Aberdeenshire.
“At a time when employees needed it most, it was the UK Government who stepped in to help pay their wages. Rishi Sunak has guaranteed that support will continue until the end of April.
“Alongside many other schemes, the UK Government’s support for employees and businesses across Scotland during the Covid pandemic has been unprecedented.
“In Aberdeenshire, more than 8,000 are continuing to have their jobs protected thanks to the UK Government.
“As we recover from the Covid pandemic, the UK Government will continue to support the efforts to rebuild communities across the north-east in every way possible.”