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UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUES CONTINUE, AS MSP CALL FOR EARLY ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW AGENCY TO PROMOTE GROWTH

Unemployment remained almost unchanged across Dumfries and Galloway with 1,595 people claiming unemployment benefits across the month of August.

The new figures released today (13 September) show a drop of only 10 people from the previous month, with a considerable rise in the number of people claiming since the end of 2016.

In December 2016 1,455 people were claiming unemployment benefits in the region, or approximately 1.6% of the working age population. This has increased to 1,595 people in the most recent figures, around 1.8% of working age people in August 2017.

The figures, which are released monthly by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), reveal that Dumfries and Galloway is slightly below the UK average of 1.9% of people on unemployment benefits.

Commenting on the figures, local MSP Colin Smyth said, “These figures show there is still a level of complacency from both the Scottish and UK Governments when it comes to unemployment. We have seen the number of people on unemployment benefits remain fairly consistent across 2017 and that means over 1,500 in our region are out of work and claiming unemployment benefit. It highlights again the need to get the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency up and running as quickly as possible to start growing our local economy and to bring jobs back into our towns and villages. The plans are there and can put in place now but sadly the Scotish Government lack the ambition and will to put the people and businesses of Dumfries and Galloway first.”

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