Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has raised concerns as the most recent figures show an increase in the number of people seeking work in Dumfries and Galloway.

The latest figures released today (14 August) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people seeking work Dumfries and Galloway reached 1,720 in July. This is an increase of 95 people from June 2018.

The last time the claimant count was as high was in August 2015 when 1,740 people in the region were seeking work.

Colin Smyth MSP has raised concerns at the increase as it follows recent economic shocks.

Colin Smyth said, “The recent economic shocks that have rocked our region, in particular, the pending closure of Pinneys at Annan means these figures are not a surprise and sadly Dumfries and Galloway is bucking the national trend where unemployment has falling.  As the closure of the Pinneys site will be complete in a matter of weeks, I fear the unemployment figures will only increase further”

“There must be immediate action from both the UK and Scottish Governments to safeguard local jobs and a well thought out plan to help grow and protect our local economy. A taskforce has begun work in Annan to look at how to best grow the local economy by attracting new businesses and help current businesses to grow. Both Governments should be ready to fund approximately £10 million worth of projects and initiatives that are being considered as part of this”.

“To ensure there is growth in the whole local economy there must be more progress made on the Borderlands Growth Deal. Despite months of work by local authorities there has been no announcement on funding by the UK or Scottish Governments. This funding is needed now to help sustain and grow the local economy.”

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