The news that the number of people in Dumfries and Galloway that claim unemployment benefits has risen in the last month has been described as “deeply disappointing” by South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

In December 2016 there was 1445 individuals claiming either universal credit or job seekers allowance in Dumfries and Galloway. This figures has risen to 1525 in January 2017. The figures represents around 1.7% of the overall Dumfries and Galloway working population.

The figures show a buck in the trend from 2016 where the number of claimants had been falling since the start of the year. Indeed, since January 2016 there is over 100 less people claiming benefits in Dumfries and Galloway, but just under a hundred more since September.

Commenting on the figures South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said:

“Although we tend to see a rise in unemployment in January as seasonal work over Christmas comes to an end for many people, these figures are deeply disappointing and show that unemployment Dumfries and Galloway is far too high.  There has been a lot of work done by the Council through their Youth Guarantee which has seen youth unemployment fall massively in the last two years but we need investment from the Scottish Government to help grow our local economy.

For too long Dumfries and Galloway has been the forgotten part of Scotland with our NHS, council and police all seeing major cuts. These cuts are starting to show. We need the UK Government and the Scottish Government to stop arguing about the constitution and start working to improve our area when it comes to the issues that matter. Recently in Langholm both governments held separate jobs summits in the space of three months. They should be working together to brings jobs to the area and support businesses “.



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