Jackie Baillie MSP – who represents Argyll’s Helensburgh and Lomond within her constituency – and Gemma Doyle MP (pictured together above), are calling for more action from the Scottish and UK Governments this week, following another month of bleak economic figures for West Dunbartonshire.
The latest figures for June 2012 found that over 2,600 males and almost 1,200 females aged between 16 and 64 are claiming the Job Seekers allowance in this area.
With Scotland, as a whole, officially back in recession, Ms Baillie and Ms Doyle are warning that urgent economic growth strategies are needed.
In 2011, 0.4% of the population of West Dunbartonshire were claiming unemployment benefits. The latest figures now show this number has risen to 6.5%.
Overall, with 10,000 more people in Scotland out of work than this time last year, Ms Baillie has urged the Scottish government to get the economy moving by changing the way it uses its purchasing power.
She says: ‘ The fact Scotland has entered recession is bad news for everyone. It’s time that both the UK and Scottish Governments realised the scale of the crisis, and changed course. Jobs and growth must be the top priorities.
‘We cannot afford to waste the talents of a generation of young Scots because of failed economic policies.
‘The trends on the unemployment figures continue to be deeply concerning.
‘In West Dunbartonshire, unemployment has gone up, economic activity has gone down and unemployment rose faster in Scotland than in the UK as a whole.
‘The Scottish Government needs to act quickly to help the growing number of young people in West Dunbartonshire and elsewhere who are struggling to find work and are being forced to claim benefits.’
Gemma Doyle says: ‘This grim news for the Scottish economy explains some of the pain that families and businesses are feeling right now. Unemployment in West Dunbartonshire is much higher than a year ago and this cannot be allowed to continue.
‘There is no doubt that the UK government’s austerity politics are failing but we also need a much more pro-active response from the Scottish Government.’
Note 1: The breakdown for labour market statistics across UK parliamentary constituencies can be found here.
Note 2: Overall unemployment this month: 215,000 (8% – down from 8.1% last month ). This time last year it was 205,000 or 7.6%. This means approximately 200 Scots a week have lost their job 2. Youth unemployment – 18-24 year olds : this month is 73,000 . This time last year it was 66,000 .