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Unemployment claims increase

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in West Lothian has increased to 5,620 in April - the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

20 May
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The number represents an increase of 1.8% on the previous month.

West Lothian's position (4.8%)  is, however, lower than the Scottish rate of 5.4% and the British rate  of 5.1%.

Youth unemployment figures for West Lothian in April were 1,050 (7.3%), which is higher than the Scottish average of 7.0% and the UK average of 6.6%.

 

Executive councillor for development and transport, Cathy Muldoon said: "Like all areas of the country West Lothian has been adversely impacted by this health crisis. There is now clear evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting jobs and the economy. The figures nationally are very worrying and although the West Lothian average is lower than the Scottish average and UK average, there are still 5,620 people claiming unemployment benefits locally. That is a huge concern and a worrying time for those directly affected."

"One of the most concerning statistics is that young people have been badly affected which was already a key priority area for the council."  Councillor Muldoon chaired a special meeting of the West Lothian Jobs Task Force last week and the council's Economic Development team is working on plans to address the problems locally businesses and staff are facing.

Councillor Muldoon added: "We will work with our partners to do all we can to help local businesses and local people during this difficult time."

 

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