Jobless figures are ‘misleading’ says MSP

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FALLING jobless figures must be treated with caution, a Lothians MSP claimed today.

Labour’s Neil Findlay said the recent statistics showing a drop are only part of the story.

National figures indicate unemployment in Scotland has fallen from 222,000 to 207,000, but those classified as “economically inactive” has risen from 1.564 million to 1.606m, while the number of people in employment dipped from 2.418m, to 2.397m.

Mr Findlay said in West Lothian, 6000 people are unemployed, down from 6300 previously, and 24,600 are economically inactive, with 7000 seeking work. Job vacancies in West Lothian total only 1553.

He said: “Unemployment is a scar and of course I welcome a drop in it both locally and nationally. But, if we look more closely, we can see from the figures how at the same time unemployment has fallen and so has the number of people in employment.

“We can also see how there has been a rise in economic inactivity. This tells us there are significantly less people working. There is a huge amount of work to be done to create work for Scots and stop unemployment in its tracks.”