Jobs crisis worsens

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Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has accused the UK and Scottish governments of treating Dumfries and Galloway as the “forgotten region” following new jobs figures that show unemployment in the area is continuing to increase.

The latest statistics published this week by the Office National Statistics (ONS) show that the jobseekers claimant count in Dumfries and Galloway increased by 188 to 3542 in the past month. The region’s unemployment rate is now above the UK average for the first time since November 2008.

The figures also show that the rate of youth unemployment across Dumfries and Galloway local authority area rose last month from 965 to 1015 – taking the region’s youth unemployment rate to 9.2 per cent compared to a UK average of 7.0 per cent and a Scottish average of 7.4 per cent.

Responding to the figures, Mr Brown said: “Once again unemployment in our region has risen, at a time it has fallen in the rest of the Scotland and the UK.”

SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said: “We are investing in Dumfries & Galloway through a range of schemes after years of neglect through successive Labour governments in Holyrood and Westminster.”

And MSP Alex Fergusson added: “It is absolutely tragic that the figures in Dumfries and Galloway are not following the national trend.”