South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has expressed his disappointment that Dumfries and Galloway has bucked the trend with the rest of Scotland with unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway rising, while it falls across Scotland. The local MSP has highlighted in particular the fall in the number of people deemed to be “economically active” in the region.
The latest jobs market figures published today (12 July) show a small increase in the number of claimants of job seekers allowance in Dumfries and Galloway. From Jun 16 to Jun 17 an additional 30 people were claiming job seekers allowance in Dumfries and Galloway and in the month the level has increased by 20 – from 1540 to 1560. [http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/la/1946157410/subreports/cc_time_series/report.aspx]
This compares poorly to the rest of Scotland which saw a fall of 0.7% in unemployment.
Equally economic inactivity has risen in Dumfries and Galloway as well as across Scotland. 23% of people in Dumfries and Galloway are deemed economically inactive according to the most recent figures. This represents 2,400 additional people economically inactive compared to the same time in previous year.
The overall figures for the number of people economically active in the region has fallen from 75,300 (80.1%) last year to 71,400 (77%) for the same period this year.
Colin Smyth said after the release of the report:
“We need to look at these figures and understand why has this region is bucking the national trend. Part of the reason is the lack of action from the Government on schemes proposed by the people here. Things like the Borderlands Growth deal which has not yet received penny from the UK or Scottish Government and the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency which I and both Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders Councils has been proposing for years is not going to be implemented until 2020. These are all ways to help get our economy growing again and getting more jobs in our communities. Sadly, the Scottish and the UK Government are dragging their heels and we can see from the latest unemployment figures what this means for our local economy.
The figures are a double whammy for Dumfries and Galloway with not only unemployment rising but also economic inactivity rising, with the number employment going down.These figures show that Dumfries and Galloway is two often the forgotten area of Scotland for this Government”.