South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has expressed his anger over the rise in unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway.

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (16 October) shows that the unemployment claimant count rose for the fifth month in a row in the region to 1,935 in September this year.

The latest figures mean that Dumfries and Galloway is facing its highest claimant count rate since September 2014.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “These employment figures are another bad news stories for our local economy here in Dumfries and Galloway. It is shocking that at a time we are seeing a fall in unemployment in Scotland, our region has bucked the trend with another increase and we now have the highest rate for four years”.

“This year we have seen the closure of Pinneys which has affected the whole of the Annan community and reminds us of the fragile nature of our local economy. The failure of both the Scottish and UK Government’s to properly respond to the huge loss of jobs at Pinneys has contributed to the rise in the number of people unemployed locally. There are now an additional 325 unemployed people in Dumfries and Galloway since May 2018 alone. Our region needs urgent action from the UK and Scottish Government’s to support job creation in the region before we see yet more people let done by the lack of employment opportunities locally”.

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