Youth unemployment remains above average

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has expressed concern that youth unemployment in the region is still above the Scottish and UK average.

This comes after the latest unemployment numbers from the Office of National Statistics showed that despite a decrease in youth unemployment from 785 youngsters to 720 (0.5% decrease), yet youth unemployment is still 1% above the Scottish average and 1.1% higher than the UK average.

Russell Brown MP said: “While things are improving for some of our youngsters, I want to see an economic recovery that benefits them all. This means the UK Government looking to offer programmes that actually helps all of our youngsters.

“I am glad to see people in work but I do question how many of the jobs are paying the living wage. We have seen that our region has the highest percentage of workers receiving a wage lower than that of the living wage. This means that despite working full time, they are earning a wage which does not meet their ever day needs like food, gas and electricity. I want everyone who works to earn at least the living wage.

“I am also concerned that on the back of the new unemployment rate, there is talk about raising interest rates. The Bank of England Governor has said that when UK unemployment hits a certain level, he will look again at raising interest rates. I am worried that this does not take into regional disparities. An increase in interest rates could have a negative impact on our local economy due our low wage economy. Increasing interest rates could mean an increase in mortgage rates. This is something local business and people could not afford.