Employment rises in Midlothian

The number of workers on company payrolls in Midlothian has continued to increase, 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 the East Lothian and Midlothian region, which covers two local authorities, 93,527 people were in payrolled employment in March, ONS figures show.

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This was up from 93,271 the month before and from 89,210 in March 2021.

File photo dated 17/02/16 of a Job Centre plus sign.

At the start of the pandemic, 91,325 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.

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

Around 1,570 people were on out-of-work benefits as of March 10, down by 1,520 from 3,090 at the same point the year before.

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It meant 2.7 per cent of the area's working population sought support in March.

The ONS said real pay was now "falling noticeably", with regular wages excluding bonuses tumbling 1.8 per cent after inflation in the three months to February, the steepest decline in almost nine years. The figures include those on Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit.