Employment falls in West Lothian – but stays above pre-pandemic levels

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The number of workers on company payrolls in West Lothian has fallen but remains above pre-pandemic levels, new figures show.

UK unemployment has dropped to its lowest figure in 50 years, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics, though soaring prices are still hitting the pockets of people across the nation as earnings fail to keep up with inflation.

In West Lothian, 87,401 people were in payrolled employment in March, ONS figures show.

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This was down from 87,404 the month before but up from 83,935 in March 2021.

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At the start of the pandemic, 85,969 people were in payrolled jobs in the area.

Different figures show that across the UK, the unemployment rate hit 3.8 per cent in the three months to February – it has not been lower than this since 1974.

Separate ONS figures also show there has been a fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the West Lothian local authority area over the last year.

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Around 3,495 people were on out-of-work benefits as of March 10, down by 3,030 from 6,525 at the same point the year before.

It meant three per cent of the area's working population sought support in March.

The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants, who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.