Number claiming jobseekers benefit below the 500 mark

The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance in East Dunbartonshire has fallen below 500, according to MP Jo Swinson.

Ms Swinson said that in November there were 498 unemployed people locally, compared to 701 the previous year - a fall of 32 from October.

Ms Swinson put much of the fall down to the “drive” of small firms in the area.

She said: “Our small businesses are the drivers of this recovery. Half of employers have told me they intend to recruit extra staff next year.

“Up to 900 local companies have taken advantage of the Government’s Employment Allowance scheme – a £2,000 cut in their national insurance bill which can be put towards hiring new employees.”

Ms Swinson added: “The economic recovery continues to gain momentum across the UK. Unemployment is at its lowest level in six years.

“I am delighted East Dunbartonshire has one of the lowest levels of unemployment across the whole country, and we have reached the landmark figure of under 500 out of work.”

The number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in East Dunbartonshire constituency in November 2014 was 498.

Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, Gregg McClymont MP said: “Falling unemployment is good news in East Dunbartonshire, but the question is how many of the new jobs are full-time, permanent and pay a decent living wage?”