AS the total number of unemployed falls nationally Dumfries and Galloway’s jobs market is still stuck in the doldrums with eleven people chasing every job available.
As the crisis worsens in this area statistics released this week by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) revealed that those claiming out of work benefits had rocketed by 70 per cent in the last four years.
A new analysis by the STUC shows that between March 2008 and August 2012, the number of people in Dumfries and Galloway claiming out of work benefits rocketed by 69.5 per cent from 2,038 to 3,454. The statistics also show that there are 11 people out of work chasing every full time vacancy advertised at the Job Centre.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “Both the UK and Scottish Governments are guilty of standing on the sidelines as our jobs crisis gets worse.
“The number of people out of work continues to rise, which shows how damaging the government’s failure to get a grip on unemployment has been for our area.
“The Tories have ripped the heart out of our economy and thrown hundreds of people out of work.
“How bad do things have to get before they realise the same old policy of cutting further and faster isn’t working?
“People are fed up of SNP and Tory-led governments looking to blame each other, when they should be working together to kick-start economic growth. Ordinary families are really struggling to make ends meet. We desperately need more jobs in Dumfries and Galloway. With 11 people chasing every vacancy in our region there simply aren’t enough jobs around.”
South of Scotland SNP MSP Dr Aileen McLeod said: “Russell Brown’s comments are frankly unsurprising.
“He conveniently glosses over the fact that the Scottish Government has limited powers with which to stimulate economic growth.
“Even with the limited powers it does have, the Scottish Government has pulled out all the stops to bring forward capital investment.
“Last month the Scottish Government announced that it is providing an additional £40 million for affordable housing, it is funding even more new school buildings; and it is helping small and medium sized businesses create up to 10,000 opportunities through a national employer recruitment initiative.”
Meanwhile, Dumfries TUC is appealing for workers, students, pensioners and claimants to support tomorrow’s ‘March for a Future That Works’ in Glasgow to demonstrate against the Government’s Public Spending Cuts.
The total of unemployed in Scotland stands at 222,000.