Mike Weir welcomes new figures revealing drop in unemployment

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A decrease in unemployment levels in Angus has been welcomed by the county’s MP, Mike Weir.

The figures, released last week by the Office of National Statistics, showed that the unemployment figure in Angus had fallen to 2.5 per cent - with just 1,062 people out of work.

In Scotland as a whole the employment rate of 73.9 per cent continues to outpace the UK’s rate of 73.0 per cent.

The unemployment figures were released on the same day as the growth figures were revealed, with 0.9 per cent growth reported in Scotland.

Commenting on the information, Mr Weir said: “These figures are very welcome and continue to show an improvement in the level of unemployment in Angus.

“They are also a welcome endorsement of the Scottish Government’s efforts to boost the economy and create jobs in the face of the UK Government’s austerity agenda.

“In particular the recently proposed cuts to in work benefits proposed by the Conservatives could undermine the achievement.

“Very many people who are in work in Angus receive help through these benefits to top up their earnings and further cuts could be disastrous.

“Even although the top line of inflation has fallen the rise in earnings still lags behind tightening peoples’ budgets, especially since the rise in some basics such as energy far outstrip the official inflation rate.”

Mr Weir also said the new Scottish Government budget outlined by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, will do more to help.

Mr Weir continued: “John Swinney’s budget set out a series of key measures to boost employment in Scotland even further – including £16m extra investment to tackle youth unemployment and a £4.5bn investment in infrastructure projects.”