Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has called for urgent action to be taken over the jobs crisis in Dumfries and Galloway after latest figures shows a rise of 130 unemployed people in a month.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people living in Dumfries and Galloway in receipt of out of work benefits rose to 2,360 in January this year. It means the unemployment rate in Dumfries and Galloway rose to 2.7%, higher than the Scottish average of 2.4%.

January was the seventh consecutive month that unemployment rose in Dumfries and Galloway. In July 2018 the unemployment rate in Dumfries and Galloway stood at 1.8%, lower than both the Scottish and UK averages.

Colin Smyth said, “These unemployment figures show the need for urgent action for what is quickly becoming a jobs crisis. Every month nearly 100 more people are looking for a job in our region and until urgent action is taken to create jobs and grow the economy this jobs crisis will get worse before it gets better.

The Scottish and UK Government must take urgent action to invest in jobs and the economy here in Dumfries and Galloway. They can not hide behind the Borderlands Growth Deal which is yet to receive a single penny of funding from either Government and could be years away from delivering a project on the ground.”

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