Un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures down by 20 per cent

But more has to be done say cam­paign­ers

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Un­em­ploy­ment in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang fell by 20 per cent in 2015, as 220 fewer peo­ple signed on in Jan­uary 2016 when com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

Fig­ures pub­lished by the Depart­ment of Work and Pen­sions (DWP) show the num­ber of peo­ple claim­ing uni­ver­sal credit and job­seeker’s al­lowance in the two towns is 1,120.

Across South La­nark­shire un­em­ploy­ment fell from 5,515 to 4,390 in the 12 months to Jan­uary 2016, also a de­crease of 20 per cent.

In Ruther­glen specif­i­cally un­em­ploy­ment fell from 580 to 465 and in Cam­bus­lang from 540 to 410.

The Depart­ment of Work Pen­sions said the fall in un­em­ploy­ment by a fifth was the re­sult of im­prove­ments in the wider econ­omy.

Stu­art Mitchell, DWP uni­ver­sal credit part­ner­ship man­ager for South La­nark­shire, said there is “more work” avail­able for lo­cals.

“It’s re­flec­tive of the labour mar­ket at the mo­ment, there are va­can­cies out there,” Mr Mitchell said. “We are work­ing hard with em­ploy­ers to match can­di­dates to those roles.”

But anti-poverty cam­paign­ers say it is not enough to purely fo­cus on job­less num­bers, but to look at how many peo­ple are on zero-hours con­tracts, in part- time roles and do­ing low paid work.

Peter Kelly, direc­tor of the Poverty Al­liance said: “While a fall in un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures is to be wel­comed, we need to look be­yond the num­bers.

“It is im­por­tant that the jobs we are cre­at­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are high qual­ity and well paid.

“With over half of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty in Scot­land in a house­hold where some­one works, pay­ing the liv­ing wage has never been more im­por­tant.

“How­ever, the liv­ing wage is only one as­pect of a wider range of mea­sures needed to tackle in work poverty.

“We also need to look at the use of zero hours con­tracts, and how we en­sure more work­places are unionised.

“More must be done to en­sure that ev­ery­one gets paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”.

Whilst un­em­ploy­ment fell con­sid­er­ably in 2015, there was a hike in the job­less num­ber in Jan­uary as Christ­mas con­tracts come to an end.

A to­tal of 50 Ruther­glen peo­ple lost their job be­tween De­cem­ber 2015 and Jan­uary 2016, and a fur­ther 35 in Cam­bus­lang.

The DWP said the fig­ures were “nor­mal” for this time of year.

Across Scot­land the un­em­ploy­ment rate is cur­rently 5.8 per cent, higher than the UK av­er­age of 4.3 per cent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.