Jobs crisis as unemployed numbers double

The number of long-term unemployed in Dumfries and Galloway has almost doubled in the space of a year, according to the latest statistics.

The official figures, released on Wednesday by the Office of National Statistics, show the numbers of long-term unemployed (out of work for over a year) in Dumfries and Galloway increased by 35 between July and August this year to 930. This is almost double the figure just one year ago – 430 in August 2011.

In total, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance rose by 74 between July and August to 3454. This is 187 more than the 3267 people looking for work in August 2011.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “For long-term unemployment in our area to almost double in the space of a year is a damning indictment of the government’s failed economic policy and shows the damage the Tory cuts are doing to our area.

“The Tory cuts and tax rises have plunged us into a double-dip recession, with families and pensioners struggling to pay the bills. They are determined to press ahead with their damaging cuts, regardless of the number of people thrown out of work.

“They have no plan to get our economy growing. How bad do things have to get before they wake up to the dire state of the local economy in Dumfries and Galloway?”

Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray added: “The SNP government is more interested in running its independence campaign than fighting for jobs.

“Only last week the SNP downgraded its Infrastructure and Capital Investment cabinet secretary to a part-time post, with Nicola Sturgeon dividing her time between the crucial task of getting our economy growing and planning for separation.”

Tory MSP Alex Fergusson said: “It is deeply disappointing to see this increase in youth unemployment in Dumfries and Galloway, but it is not helped in any way by this SNP Government, which has slashed college budgets while pretending to encourage more young people to take up modern apprenticeships.

“Its obsession with obtaining the result it wants in the referendum on independence is doing no-one any good.”

However, SNP MSP Aileen McLeod commented: “The overall rise in unemployment shows that what is really needed is for the Westminster government to turn on the investment taps and back our calls to fund shovel-ready projects that would quickly create many more jobs.

“Targeted investment in infrastructure is essential to get our economy moving again and it is utterly unacceptable that Westminster continues to hold back efforts to grow Scotland’s economy.”