Hundreds more workers in Bolton came off furlough in July.

But as 1.6 million UK workers remain on furlough, think tank, Resolution Foundation expects a “significant number” to lose jobs when the Government programme ends this month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the newest figure - a 340,000 reduction from June - is a sign of the country returning to normal.

HM Revenue and Customs figures show 6,900 jobs held by Bolton workers were furloughed as of July 31 - just six per cent of all who were eligible.

Boltonians aged between 50 and 54 make up the highest proportion of those on furlough with 860 (13 per cent) on the scheme, while people aged 65 and over were the smallest proportion - 370 (five per cent).

But Resolution warned of a possible rise in unemployment in autumn.

Charlie McCurdy, an economist, said: “The number of people coming off furlough over the summer has slowed to a trickle, as some firms and sectors struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels of activity.

“As a result, up to a million employees could still be on furlough when the scheme closes at the end of this month.

“While we expect most of these staff to return to their previous roles, a significant number will not.”

In July, Bolton’s wholesale and retail sector saw 240 employees return.

Mr Sunak said: “It’s fantastic to see furlough levels at their lowest since the start of the pandemic with young people in particular getting back to work and kickstarting their careers as the UK gets back to business.”