Unemployment up 71% in Banff and Buchan

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People claiming unemployment benefits in the Banff and Buchan area has increase by over 70 per cent from this time last year.

New figures show that the claimant count has risen by 425 people to 1020 from the corresponding month in 2015, an increase of 71 per cent.

The downturn in the Oil and Gas sector has had a profound effect on the North-East with unemployment up 92 per cent across Aberdeenshire.

Lewis Macdonald, Labour MSP for North East Scotland, said: ““These figures are an illustration of the human cost of the oil and gas crisis, and clear evidence that the SNP’s delayed reaction is simply too little too late.

“What we are seeing today is a result of thousands of people who were made redundant several months ago, now signing on for the first time as their redundancy money runs out.”

The MSP also stated that many of the people losing their jobs today may not show up in official figures for some time to come.

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast said: ““The ongoing downturn in the oil and gas sector is continuing to hit the North-east hard, and has ripple effects for the wider local economy.

“Unemployment in Aberdeenshire is still well below the national average, at just over 1%, but recent redundancies mean that the jobs market has become a lot more competitive.”

The rise in unemployment figures for Buchan and Aberdeenshire bucks the national trend which has largly shown a decrease in such figures.