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Claimant figures show too many Scots still out of work

Figures released today show that too many people in Scotland are still struggling to find work, according to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

The charity said today that while the official unemployment count in Scotland is down, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) has increased, which reveals a job market where too many people are not in secure employment.

Responding to the combination of figures published today, CAS Director of External Affairs Susan McPhee said,

“The key figures today are those showing that a further 5,000 Scots are claiming JSA, and that the numbers of people in that position has nearly doubled since the credit crunch began three years ago.*

“That would certainly confirm the general trend we are seeing in CAB offices across Scotland, who are dealing with more and more people who are losing their job or unable to find work. So while the official numbers of people unemployed has gone down, there are still too many Scots who are without a job and having to claim benefit just to get by.

“Unfortunately this trend may be set to continue, and we believe that Scotland will fare worse from the government’s planned cuts than the UK as a whole, because our public sector is so much bigger than that in the rest of the country.

“Unemployment is a personal tragedy for each of those affected. But it also impacts on whole communities, and blights the economy as a whole. The numbers of people out of work in Scotland now are so high that every family will know someone who is looking to find work and can’t get it. These figures also mask the reality that many of those who are in work are stuck in insecure, part-time or low-paying jobs that really don’t meet their needs.

“CAB advisers see first-hand the impact that unemployment can have on people. When a person loses the opportunity to work, they lose their confidence and dignity as well as their ability to pay their bills. It often leads to debt, which can in turn lead to people losing their home. It can also lead to stress and other health problems, family and relationship breakdown, etc.

“Anyone who is unemployed should seek advice as soon as possible, before these problems set in. The local CAB offers free, impartial and confidential advice."

For more information, interviews etc. please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010 or 07774 751655.

* The ONS figures released today show that the JSA claimant rate in Scotland was 69,165 in December 2007, and was 136,200 in December 2010.