MP welcomes latest unemployment stats

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East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton has welcomed new figures showing there are “only” 650 out of work benefit claimants in the area.

But he says that while this – a claimant rate of 2.5 per cent – is lower than the UK average the figures hide “real anxiety and worry” for people filling out hundreds of job applications.

At the same time he argues the Scottish Government should put more emphasis on local job creation, and less on its pursuit of Scottish independence.

The SNP government, by contrast, regularly argues that the Brexit process poses the biggest risk to Scottish employment prospects.

And East Renfrewshire Labour claim that in her year in office UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has done nothing to help those in the “gig economy” – who lack basic work security.

East Ren’s official unemployment figures put the area at 471 lowest out of 650 constituencies across the UK.

The number of claimants in June 2016 is 10 higher than in June last year, and 20 lower than in May 2017.

Mr Masterton said: “It is unsurprising to see such an impressively low level of out of work benefit claimants here in East Renfrewshire, yet we cannot rest on our laurels.

“The UK Government is continuing to support the local economy with investment through the City Deal and it is now time – having lost a third of their vote (some 500,000 votes) – for the SNP led Scottish Government to focus on helping East Renfrewshire’s workers, not so called independence.”

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures are not broken down by district, so it isn’t clear whether any particular East Ren area has a higher proportion of job seekers than others.