South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is urging the UK and Scottish Government’s to stop being complacent over unemployment, after the latest figures published today (17 July) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed an increase in the number of people unemployed in East Ayrshire.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the region in June 2018 was 3,395 compared to 2,440 the same time last year. The figures also show there was increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits by 110 between May and June 2018. As a percentage it means the percentage of the population a claiming unemployment benefits has reached 4.4%, this rate was last hit in August 2014.
The figures mean that East Ayrshire is sitting well above the Scottish average of 2.6% and the UK average of 2.2%.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “These figures reveal the gradual increase in the unemployment rate faced locally in East Ayrshire over the last year, an area that already has an unemployment rate above the national average. We are continually being told that unemployment is no longer a big problem anymore but try telling that to the nearly 3400 across East Ayrshire having to claim unemployment benefit because of a lack of job opportunities.
Instead of taking action both the SNP Government in Holyrood and the Tory Government in Westminster have sat on their hands while month after month more workers in East Ayrshire find themselves unemployed.
The two Governments could support the region by making meaningful progress on the Ayrshire Growth Deal. The plans that have been developed by the three Ayrshire authorities are ambitious and could make a real difference but without the investment they do not turn around the economy locally and create jobs.”